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Maurie McInnis, a cultural historian and higher education leader, has been named as the 24th president of Yale University, making her the first woman to be appointed permanently to the position. Currently the president of Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, she will take over from Peter Salovey, who is retiring after a decade as president. McInnis was chosen unanimously by Yale’s Board of Trustees for her leadership qualities, scholarly accomplishments, and commitment to academic priorities. She will officially assume her new role on July 1, with prior experience as president of Stony Brook since 2020 and various administrative positions at other universities.

Having previously served as a Yale trustee and completed her graduate studies at Yale, McInnis is familiar with the university and its academic environment. Her scholarship has focused on the intersection of art, politics, and slavery in the southern United States in the 1800s. In her statement upon her appointment, McInnis expressed excitement to engage with the Yale community, highlighting the contributions of faculty, staff, and students to the university’s excellence and innovation. She plans to hold listening sessions and meetings to connect with various stakeholders and gather input on the university’s priorities and future direction.

Yale University, founded in 1701, is a prestigious institution with a significant endowment, a large student body of undergraduate and graduate students, and a substantial faculty and staff population. McInnis will be taking the helm of an institution with a rich history and a strong academic reputation. While her appointment comes at a time of heightened tensions over issues such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, McInnis has not directly addressed these controversies in her initial statements. At Stony Brook, she previously navigated protests and demonstrations while emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe and productive academic environment.

McInnis has been recognized for her academic leadership, scholarly achievements, and commitment to addressing climate change. Her work on antebellum visual culture and climate change solutions has been praised by Yale’s search committee and faculty members. The committee highlighted her multidimensional expertise as a humanist and her dedication to rigorous scholarship. McInnis’s scholarly background and administrative experience position her well to lead Yale into the future and build upon the university’s tradition of excellence in education, research, and community engagement.

As she steps into the role of president, McInnis will face the challenges and opportunities of leading a renowned institution like Yale. With a focus on academic priorities, innovation, and engagement with diverse stakeholders, she aims to foster a vibrant and inclusive community at the university. Her vision for the university includes empowering faculty, staff, and students to excel in their respective fields while contributing to the broader mission of advancing knowledge and making a positive impact on society. Through her leadership, McInnis will guide Yale towards achieving its goals and maintaining its position as a world-class institution of higher education.

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