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, he sits on the board of directors for the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities, 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

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Keith E. Whitfield In The News

K.N.P.R. News
Universities depend in large part on charitable giving. That support from alumni and donors helps pay for buildings, student access, endowed professorships and more. So The Nevada Independent story in May about the Engelstad Foundation withdrawing from its long-term relationship with UNLV was pretty stunning.
K.S.N.V. T.V. News 3
UNLV student-athletes have posted their second-highest cumulative grade point average in school history, according to the athletic department. Rebels achieved a cumulative 3.31 GPA following the spring semester, a record 14th straight semester with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Las Vegas Review Journal
UNLV President Keith Whitfield in a statement Sunday refuted earlier assertions that UNLV was considering releasing details about the university’s assets invested in firms with ties to Israel and divesting from them.
Las Vegas Sun
During UNLV’s spring commencement ceremonies May 11, I was excited to celebrate with the 3,700 graduates, many of whom are the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. Commencement is the absolute best part of my job, and a truly unique and uplifting experience at UNLV. It’s a chance to highlight the enormous success of our students, with their families, friends and the entire Rebel community.

Articles Featuring Keith E. Whitfield

Spring Flowers (Becca Schwartz)
Campus News | April 1, 2024

A roundup of the top news stories featuring UNLV students and faculty.