Keith Whitfield, vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University and an expert on aging among African Americans, has been named provost of Wayne State University effective June 1, 2016. The WSU Board of Governors approved Whitfield’s appointment at its April 1 meeting.
Whitfield also holds Duke appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He also is co-director of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research.
“We are delighted that Keith Whitfield will be joining the university,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. “We could not have hoped for a better qualified candidate for the provost’s position, and we look forward to his guidance and leadership in all academic matters at Wayne State University.”
Whitfield has published more than 180 articles, books and book chapters on cognition, health, and individual development and aging with a focus on African Americans. He currently serves as managing editor for the journal Ethnicity and Health, is a longtime member of the advisory board of Wayne State’s Institute on Aging, has participated in a number of committees for the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, and has served on several study sections for the National Institutes of Health.
He replaces Margaret E. Winters, who is retiring after serving as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since April 2013. Winters spent 14 years at Wayne State in several leadership positions.
As Wayne State’s chief academic officer, Whitfield will be the second-ranking executive officer and responsible for all matters related to the instructional mission of the university, student performance and retention, and academic personnel policies and decisions, among other duties.
“I am very honored to have been selected to serve as the next provost of Wayne State,” said Whitfield. “It is clear that the university is working on great things, and I hope to provide the leadership needed to realize its ambitions.”
Whitfield earned a bachelor’s in psychology from the College of Santa Fe, a Ph.D. in lifespan developmental psychology from Texas Tech University, and received postdoctoral training in quantitative genetics from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Whitfield’s appointment follows a national search that began last fall and was chaired by WSU Vice President for Research Stephen Lanier.
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 380 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.