Tuskegee University president to return from medical leave

Tuskegee University president to return from medical leave
Dr. Lily McNair, Tuskegee University's first female president, will return from a medical leave of absence in mid-May. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - Tuskegee University is preparing to welcome back its president, who announced at the beginning of the year she would be taking a medical leave of absence.

Dr. Lily McNair will return to her official duties on May 15, the university has confirmed, following a leave notice and recovery for an undisclosed health matter in early January.

Ahead of her full-time return, McNair will preside virtually over the College of Veterinary Medicine’s May 1 commencement ceremony and the university’s May 9 virtual graduation observance.

During McNair’s leave, Dean Dr. Ruby L. Perry of the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine assumed the role of acting president.

“President McNair needed to focus on her health and recovery, first and foremost. If there’s anything this current pandemic teaches us, it’s that our health should remain paramount,” Board of Trustees Chair Norma B. Clayton said.

The university said despite her being away on medical leave, McNair remained in contact on a regular basis, even as the coronavirus outbreak grew to a global pandemic.

McNair, who has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, became the historic university’s eighth president, and its first female president, in July 2018.

A native of New Jersey, she 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.

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