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Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis leaving to lead Yale University

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis speaking at the State of the University address on October 11, 2023. McInnis announced her resignation from the university this morning to become the president of Yale University. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis has announced she will be stepping down from her position to become the president of Yale University.

In a campus-wide email announcement, McInnis wrote that she believed the appointment came partly due to “the work that we have been doing at Stony Brook and the high regard nationally in which our university is held.”

McInnis earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Virginia in 1988 before earning her master’s and doctorate degrees from Yale in the history of art in 1990 and 1996, respectively. She has served as a successor trustee of the Yale Corporation since 2022.

Before becoming the president of Stony Brook, she served as the provost of the University of Texas at Austin.

McInnis presided over several successful initiatives for Stony Brook, including the University being selected as the anchor for the New York Climate Exchange, receiving an unrestricted $500 million donation from the Simons Foundation and increasing support from the New York State Government.

However, she also had her fair share of controversial moments, most of them related to the pro-Palestine demonstrations that have been present on campus since October 2023. When nine protesters were arrested on March 26, McInnis and her administration faced backlash from students and faculty. A similar reaction occurred after 29 protesters were arrested in a separate demonstration on May 2.

The latter incident led to Stony Brook’s Senate voting to demand that charges against the protesters be dropped and to investigate Enterprise Risk Management, a campus police operation created by McInnis. The Senate also held a censure vote against McInnis which she narrowly survived – 47% percent of the faculty voted to censure her, while 50% voted against and 3% abstained.

McInnis told The New York Times that “No president wants to have to request that authorities intervene to disperse student protesters. And once we realized they would not disperse, everything proceeded in a calm and orderly manner.”

McInnis will be joining Yale at a challenging time for the University. Yale’s campus has been rocked by their own pro-Palestine demonstrations; on April 22, police arrested 48 individuals after a three-night encampment took place on the University’s Hewitt Quadrangle and Beinecke Plaza.

She will also notably be Yale’s first permanent female president, though the University did appoint a woman to serve as interim president in 1977. Her appointment comes after Yale held a nine-month-long search process for a new candidate after current president Peter Salovey announced he would be stepping down.

In the email announcement, McInnis wrote that an interim president for Stony Brook would be named shortly and that a national search for Stony Brook’s next president would begin immediately.

“I want to express my deep appreciation not only for the support you have given to me, but for the passion and commitment you show for our mission and for your work,” McInnis wrote. “You have been an inspiration to me, and I have every confidence that you will continue to propel Stony Brook to even greater heights.”

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About the Contributor
Sky Crabtree
Sky Crabtree, Assistant News Editor
Sky Crabtree is an Assistant News Editor for The Statesman and a sophomore studying journalism and political science. He joined the paper in the spring of 2023 as a news reporter and was promoted at the end of the same semester. Outside of The Statesman, he works as a news intern for WSHU Public Radio and hosts "The Political Corner," a segment on the Stony Brook Media Group's news show.
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