Keith E. Whitfield

President, UNLV
Expertise: Higher Education, Psychology of Cognition and Healthy Aging, Stress and Aging among African Americans, Health Disparities Research

Biography

Keith E. Whitfield is a seasoned university administrator and prolific scholar in the fields of psychology, health, and aging. He became UNLV’s 11th president on Aug. 24, 2020.   

A psychologist and expert on the social, psychological, and cultural factors of cognition and healthy aging, Whitfield’s current research focuses on the relationship between stress and longevity in African American families. Whitfield has authored or co-authored over 200 publications and has earned nearly $20 million in funding from agencies including the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Science Foundation. He’s a member of the NIA’s National Advisory Council on Aging, and he has served on committees for the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.  

Whitfield previously served as provost, senior vice president of academic affairs, and professor of psychology at Wayne State University in Michigan. Prior to Wayne State, he was vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University and held appointments as a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, a research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He also was the co-director of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research. 

Education

  • Post Doc, University of Colorado-Boulder Institute for Behavioral Genetics, Quantitative Genetics
  • Ph.D. in Life Span Development, Texas Tech University
  • M.A. in Psychology, Texas Tech University
  • B.A. in Psychology, College of Santa Fe

Related Links

Keith E. Whitfield In The News

Las Vegas Review Journal
December 16, 2020
UNLV recognized more than 5,000 spring and winter graduates Tuesday during two virtual ceremonies — a format dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pahrump Valley Times
December 1, 2020
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create economic uncertainty, UNLV is working to advance the social mobility of its students, a new ranking of higher education institutions finds.
Reno Gazette-Journal
November 29, 2020
The year 2020 has been among the most challenging years this generation of Americans has ever faced — from political divisiveness and civil strife to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues throughout our great state and nation. But amid the difficulty, there are encouraging signs. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of science to society. Working together, the solutions and strategies offered by members of the faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas have shown the transformative power of institutional collaboration to the benefit of the state.
Las Vegas Review Journal
November 28, 2020
The year 2020 has been among the most challenging years this generation of Americans has ever faced. From political divisiveness and civil strife to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues throughout our great state and nation. But amid the difficulty, there are encouraging signs.

Articles Featuring Keith E. Whitfield

Professor Nancy Lough standing in front of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
People | January 4, 2021
Great places are made of great people. Here are a few who made the news in 2020.
Students walking on campus on sunny day
Campus News | November 24, 2020
The 2020 CollegeNet Social Mobility Index places UNLV in the top 10% of universities nationwide.
man sitting in front of display wall that says "We Are UNLV"
Campus News | November 10, 2020
A commitment to serve those who serve our country.
Campus News | November 5, 2020
For many trailblazing students and faculty, the first step in their success is making sure they feel they belong here.