Keith E. Whitfield

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


UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield is an experienced university administrator and prolific scholar in the fields of psychology, health, and aging. 

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. 


  • 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

The Nevada Independent
June 27, 2022
Vickie Shields is the provost at Nevada State College, by far the fastest growing higher education institution in Nevada over the last decade. Enrollment more than doubled between 2015 and 2020, surging from around 3,500 students to more than 7,200.
Las Vegas Review Journal
June 13, 2022
UNLV on Monday recommended that students and staff return to wearing masks in public indoor spaces, but stopped short of mandating them.
K.L.A.S. T.V. 8 News Now
June 9, 2022
UNLV, along with 19 of the nation’s largest Hispanic serving research universities, formally announced an alliance on Thursday. The Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities will increase opportunities for Hispanic graduate students and faculty throughout higher education.
The Nevada Independent
June 6, 2022
Rents are rising and inflation is pushing other costs higher. All the while, Nevada’s colleges and universities have been navigating deep pandemic-era funding cuts that — despite copious federal aid — still loom ahead of next year’s legislative session.

Articles Featuring Keith E. Whitfield

2022 UNLV Spring Commencement Ceremony for the Graduate College.  May 13, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | June 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

Decorated student grad cap during Spring 2022 commencement
Campus News | May 14, 2022

More than 3,300 UNLV students, and one legendary film actress, crossed the Thomas & Mack Center stage to become UNLV's newest alumni during Spring 2022 Commencement.

UNLV Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.