Tia Brown McNair

Vice President , Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, AAC&U


Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at AAC&U. She collaborates with all AAC&U program offices and takes a leading role in advancing AAC&U projects and meetings on student success and making excellence inclusive. She is a co-PI on a newly funded LEAP Project “Transparency and Problem-Centered Learning.” McNair also directs AAC&U’s Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project, and is the PI on a new LEAP project,  “Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success.” She is a co-author on a publication Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. McNair chairs AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that is part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represents a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is a co-PI on a collaborative project with Excelencia in Education to advance Latino student success through the implementation and scaling of high-impact practices to improve student learning. 

Prior to joining AAC&U, McNair served as the Assistant Director of the National College Access Network (NCAN) in Washington, DC. She is a co-author of the report Using Data and Inquiry to Build Equity-focused College-going Cultures. McNair’s previous experience also includes serving as a Social Scientist/Assistant Program Director in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Director of University Relations at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia; the Statewide Coordinator for the Educational Talent Search Project at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; and the Interim Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment Services at West Virginia State University. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions. 

She was selected as a 2009 & 2010 Fellow to participate in the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Institutes on Equity & Critical Policy Analysis.  She has held leadership positions within the regional and statewide TRIO associations as a board member and state president.

McNair earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and English at James Madison University and holds an M.A. in English from Radford University and a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.

Areas of Expertise: 
P-16, Access and Student Success, Equity and Diversity, Inclusion, Theory to Practice, Policy Development, Institutional Change, Statewide Network Building