About President McInnis

President Maurie McInnis

Maurie McInnis is the twenty-fourth president of Yale University, a role she assumed on July 1, 2024, and she is a professor in the Department of the History of Art. She has spent three decades in higher education, holding a range of teaching, research, and leadership positions at several iconic universities.

A Compelling Leader

President McInnis most recently served as the sixth president of Stony Brook University, an internationally recognized research institution and a flagship university in the State of New York. As chief executive, President McInnis also oversaw Stony Brook Medicine, Long Island’s premier academic medical center, which encompasses five health sciences schools, four hospitals, and 200 community-based healthcare settings. She was a key player in furthering economic development on Long Island and in Stony Brook’s role as part of the management team of nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility. She is also the inaugural chair of the Board of the New York Climate Exchange. Her leadership at Stony Brook University was transformative, marked by a $500 million gift from the Simons Foundation—the largest-ever unrestricted endowment gift made to a U.S. institution of higher education.

While at Stony Brook, President McInnis also accelerated the university’s research engine, including investments in faculty support, seed grants, and program support, resulting in a 20 percent increase in sponsored research. Additionally, under President McInnis’ leadership, Stony Brook was recognized as a leader in socioeconomic mobility, serving a highly diverse student population that is nearly 40 percent Pell-eligible and about 35 percent first generation.

President McInnis previously served as the provost and executive vice president of the University of Texas at Austin. As the chief academic officer, she led strategic planning for the university’s academic mission. Her initiatives focused on expanding access to higher education for Texas families and investing in student and faculty support programs. Her leadership was instrumental in enhancing the university’s academic reputation and fostering a culture of innovation and excellence.

A Leading Cultural Historian

A distinguished scholar of the politics of art and slavery in the American South, President McInnis has contributed significantly to her field as a cultural historian.

President McInnis has published five books including the award-winning titles of The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (UNC, 2005) and Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (Chicago, 2011). Additionally, she is widely published in peer reviewed journals, edited volumes, exhibition catalogs, and other publications.

While on faculty at the University of Virginia (UVA), her alma mater, she also led the creation of a digital history project to tell the history of enslavement at UVA. That has resulted in a multi-authored book for which she served as an author and editor: Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s University (University of Virginia Press, 2019). She has curated several museum exhibitions and worked in an advisory capacity at museums and historic sites (including Monticello, Mount Vernon, and Montpelier). Her work has been honored with book awards, grants, fellowships, and other prizes.

President McInnis’s academic career began as a graduate student at Yale in the Department of the History of Art. Her Ph.D. mentor was Ned Cooke, and she studied with other renowned Yale faculty members, such as Anne Hanson, Vincent Scully, Jules Prown, and Robert Herbert.

A Passion for Higher Education

As a fourth-generation educator, President McInnis is deeply committed to the work of educators and how education has the power to transform lives, families, and society for the better.

After completing her graduate studies, President McInnis served as a faculty member at James Madison University. Here, she honed her teaching skills and developed a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of students. Her commitment to student success and academic excellence was a defining feature of her teaching career.

President McInnis then returned to her alma mater, the University of Virginia, where she held various leadership roles, including associate dean for undergraduate academic programs and vice provost for academic affairs. Her tenure at the university was marked by her efforts to strengthen academic connections and develop innovative educational programs. She played a pivotal role in fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and promoting academic excellence.

In addition to her academic and administrative roles, President McInnis has served on various boards and commissions, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Commission on Economic and Community Engagement and the Association of American Universities.