Tia Brown McNair

Tia Brown McNair

Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact practices, campus climate, and student success. McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institutes on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, and Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Campus Centers. She is the co-author of the books From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education (January 2020) and Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (July 2016). McNair is a co-author on the publication Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. McNair is the editor of Strengthening Campus Communities Through the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Framework that will be published by Routledge in June 2024.

In May 2023, McNair received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Franklin Pierce University for her national work to dismantle a false belief in a hierarchy of human value and for her efforts to advance racial equity to support the success of all students. In March 2020, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education named AAC&U’s Tia Brown McNair one of thirty-five outstanding women who have tackled some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibited extraordinary leadership skills, and made a positive difference in their communities.

McNair’s previous projects include “Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students are Learning,” “Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning for Curricular Coherence,” “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success,” “Advancing Underserved Student Success through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning,” “Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success,” and “Developing a Community College Roadmap.” She chaired AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that was part of the “General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs)” project that represented a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success.

Prior to joining AAC&U, McNair served as the Assistant Director of the National College Access Network (NCAN) in Washington, DC. 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 where she taught first-year English courses. 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

  • Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation
  • Underserved Student Success, Engagement, and Inclusion
  • Assessing High-Impact Practices and Intentionality of Design and Implementation
  • Campus Climate
  • Inquiry-Based Analysis
  • Cross-Divisional Collaboration
  • Equity-Minded Data Analysis and Decision Making
  • Institutional Planning and Transformation
  • Project Development and Implementation