Interim Vice President for Research
Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
Dean of the Graduate College
John C. Keller is the dean of the Graduate College, associate provost for graduate and professional education, and interim vice president for research at the University of Iowa.
The longest serving dean in the Big Ten, Dr. Keller served as chair of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Graduate Deans Group (twice), as well as three-year terms on the board of directors for both the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the AAU-Association of Graduate Schools. For his invaluable contributions to the University of Iowa graduate community, Dr. Keller was awarded the 2017 CGS Debra W. Steward for Outstanding Leadership in Graduate Education.
A passionate advocate for graduate education, Keller has undertaken several major initiatives at the University of Iowa to enhance graduate student success. He has overseen the development of 14 new graduate programs—including three interdisciplinary programs. He developed and implemented a model for systematic assessments aimed towards program improvement. Under his leadership, time to degree has fallen and completion rates have improved. In addition to his academic oversight, Keller promotes publicly accessible research, holistic career preparation, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and institutional research support.
Keller joined the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry as an associate professor in 1988, and soon after become a professor of dental research and oral and maxillofacial surgery. During his time in the College of Dentistry, he also served as director for the Biomaterials Research Program in the Dows Institute for Dental Research. In 2002, he was named associate provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate College after serving in the role on an interim basis for two years. Keller was named interim vice president for the office of research and economic development in October 2017.
Keller is a fellow of both the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and the Academy for Dental Materials. He served four years on the board of directors of the American Association of Dental Research, including one year as president. His research career focused on biomaterials science and the host-tissue responses to those materials. He has published more than 200 journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and abstracts in this field.