Keynote Speakers

Dr. Tia Brown McNair 

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Association of American 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 educational practices, and student success, including AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal series of yearly working conferences.  McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Educational Practices and Student Success. McNair serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives: "Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation," “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success,” and Purposeful Pathways: Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence.” She directed AAC&U's projects on "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. McNair 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. She is the lead author of the book 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.  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.


Dr. Randall Van Wagoner

 Dr. Randall VanWagoner has been the President of Mohawk Valley Community College since July 1, 2007.  He is in his second term as the President of the New York Community College Association of Presidents.  Dr. VanWagoner also co-facilitates the Strategic Horizon Network of seven like-minded community colleges focused on innovation, vibrant organizational cultures, and equity from six different states. He serves on several local boards including serving as co-chair for the Oneida County Executive’s Vision 2020 initiative, as well as serving on the national policy trust for Jobs For the Future. Dr. VanWagoner has published several articles and presented regularly on leadership and organizational behavior at local, regional, and national events.  Most recently, he published his first book titled, “Competing on Culture: Driving Change in Community Colleges.”  Prior to coming to the Mohawk Valley, Dr. VanWagoner held several administrative positions at community colleges in Michigan, Colorado, and Nebraska.  He attended Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan before receiving his B.A. in Communications from Oakland University in the Detroit area and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.


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