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Yale names a new president: Maurie McInnis, an alumna and Stony Brook leader

Maurie McInnis
Dan Renzetti
Yale University
Before serving at Stony Brook, Maurie McInnis was a provost at the University of Texas at Austin and a vice provost at the University of Virginia, where she earned her bachelor's degree in the late 1980s.

Yale has named an alumna as its new president: Maurie McInnis, who will also be the university's first permanent female leader.

Since 2020, McInnis has served as president of Stony Brook University in New York. McInnis earned master's and doctorate degrees from Yale in the 1990s and is a member of its Board of Trustees.

“A compelling leader, distinguished scholar, and devoted educator, she brings to the role a deep understanding of higher education and an unwavering commitment to our mission and academic priorities,” said Josh Bekenstein, senior trustee of the Yale Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee, in a letter to the Yale community.

In a livestreamed address on Wednesday, McInnis said she will "seek the input of the community and urge all of us to listen with empathy and compassion for the experiences of others."

"Most importantly, I will encourage us to ask ourselves what change we wish to see in the world and how might we best accomplish that," she said.

McInnis told the Yale Daily News that she was “honored and humbled” to be Yale’s next leader.

“I do understand that the fact that I will be the first non-interim woman serving in that role means that I can play an important role as a role model," she told the college newspaper.

McInnis takes over for Peter Salovey, who previously announced he would step down this year and plans to return to Yale’s faculty.

Yale President Peter Salovey speaks with Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen at the Yale School of Management where Yellen promoting President Joe Biden’s economic polices and the work of Yale’s Tobin Center for Economic Policy.
Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public
FILE: Yale President Peter Salovey.

McInnis becomes president at a time when Yale and other universities face ongoing protests from students over the Israel-Hamas war and the ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court ending affirmative action in college admissions.

McInnis told The New York Times that she was committed to maintaining a diverse campus at Yale regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“My deep commitment to advancing opportunities for students and for our prospective students is steadfast, certainly in my work at Stony Brook, and that will continue at Yale,” McInnis told the Times, adding that “none of that changes with the court ruling.”

In a statement posted to social media, Stony Brook said, “We extend our congratulations to her on this prestigious appointment and thank her for guiding Stony Brook’s remarkable growth.”

Before serving at Stony Brook, McInnis was a provost at the University of Texas at Austin and a vice provost at the University of Virginia, where she earned her bachelor's degree in the late 1980s.