President of Tuskegee University
Lily D. McNair, Ph.D.
Ph.D. State University of New York at Stony Brook
M.S. State University of New York at Stony Brook
B.S. Princeton University
Year Elected to the Board: 2018
City of Residence: Tuskegee, AL
Dr. Lily D. McNair has been selected as Tuskegee University’s eighth president by unanimous vote of the university’s Board of Trustees. Her appointment as Tuskegee’s first female president comes after nearly seven years of service as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College — a private college of 2,200 students located on New York’s Staten Island.
She previously served as associate provost of research and divisional coordinator for science and mathematics at Spelman College, where she was responsible for cultivating the institution’s research capabilities. This included strengthening its infrastructure of policies and procedures related to faculty involvement in research, and developing a coordinated system to improve the efficient use of its research resources.
Dr. McNair served as associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at The University of Georgia, where in 1999 she was the first African-American woman to obtain tenure and promotion in the Department of Psychology. She also has served as professor of psychology on the faculty of The State University of New York at New Paltz, and as a clinical psychologist at Vassar College.
A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s research has focused on the development and evaluation of community-based interventions targeting substance use and early sexual behavior in African-American youth. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary findings of these longitudinal studies are demonstrating the significant impact of positive parenting practices on children’s outcomes across a variety of domains. Dr. McNair is also the co-editor of Women: Images and Realities (4th ed.), an introductory multicultural women’s studies textbook.
Dr. McNair’s continuing research interests include examining the role of stress in the alcohol consumption of female college students. This interest, dating back to her dissertation research, marked the beginning of her longstanding interest in gender-related issues in social behavior. She continued this line of research while at The University of Georgia by investigating cognitive factors related to alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors, with particular attention to gender-related influences on decision-making and risk taking. Her work examines two specific areas of sexual risk: sexual behaviors related to the transmission of HIV/AIDS (unsafe sexual practices) and sexual aggression (i.e., acquaintance rape). Dr. McNair also is interested in the dyadic nature of alcohol use and sexual risk-taking, and has begun to investigate the changes in alcohol consumption and sexual risk-taking that occur in dating couples over the course of their relationships.
Dr. McNair has served as major professor for more than 10 doctoral students in clinical psychology at The University of Georgia, where she was actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate training. She considers her contributions to the education of junior scholars to be among the most rewarding aspect of her career at UGA, where she was actively involved in increasing the numbers of African-American graduate students in the Department of Psychology.
A native of New Jersey, Dr. McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is married to Dr. George W. Roberts, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together they have two adult children: Randall Roberts and Marguerite Roberts.