President, Arcadia University
A nationally recognized expert in student affairs issues and an accomplished social justice, race, and ethnicity scholar, Dr. Ajay Nair assumed his role as Arcadia University’s 22nd President on April 2, 2018. There, he leads a University that is a national leader in study abroad and international education, with a community of 4,000 undergraduate and graduates students. Dr. Nair is among the first American-born university presidents of Indian descent nationwide, and he is the first person of color to serve as president of Arcadia.
Prior to leading Arcadia, Dr. Nair served as senior vice president and dean of Campus Life at Emory University, where he led nearly 1,300 employees and provided strategic financial oversight for an annual budget of more than $79 million. He has served on a wide range of university and civic boards and organizations, including as director of the Division for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice for NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).
Dr. Nair also held executive leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and the University of Virginia. In his distinguished career in higher education, Dr. Nair has held faculty positions at each of the aforementioned universities, as well as the World Language Institute in Kwangju, South Korea.
Dr. Nair’s current book project focuses on the state of multiculturalism in higher education and aims to present a new model for diversity and inclusion in higher education. His co-edited book, Desi Rap: Hip-Hop in South Asian America, focuses on the complexities of second-generation South Asian American identity.
Dr. Nair earned a Doctor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University.