TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - And then there were two. Tuskegee University has narrowed down the number of candidates vying to become the university's next president.
The finalists are Dr. Lily McNair and Dr. Jack Thomas. One will become just the eighth president since Booker T. Washington founded it in 1881.
"Since launching our presidential search last October, the search committee has remained committed to attracting an inspiring leader who will advance our current five-year strategic plan while ensuring we remain a commanding, competitive and contemporary university in the decades to come," said John E. Page, who chairs the search committee and serves as chair of the Board of Trustees.
McNair is the current provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College — a private liberal arts school of 2,200 students on New York City's Staten Island. She is a clinical psychologist by training and her higher education career includes other academic and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.
McNair has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University and a doctorate in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Thomas is the current president of Western Illinois University, a public university of about 10,000 students based in Macomb, Illinois. With an academic background that began with teaching English, his rise through the academic and executive higher education ranks includes more recent appointments at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Middle Tennessee State University, in addition to WIU.
He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Alabama A&M University, a master's in English education from Virginia State University, and a doctorate in English literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The board is expected to vote on the search committee's recommendation by Friday, May 4.