Keeler Family Intra-University Professorship


Ariel view of KU's campus at sunrise

The Keeler Family Intra-University Professorships, a faculty development program for tenured faculty at mid-career, originated in the early 1980s. The program has been supported through a generous gift of the Keeler family in memory of W.W. Keeler, former president of the KU Alumni Association, the chief executive officer of Phillips Petroleum Company, and principal chief of the Cherokees.

The purpose of the program is to provide the faculty member an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of an academic specialty, to broaden or achieve greater depth in a defined field of scholarship, or to achieve competence in a new area of scholarly endeavor. This opportunity should lead to increased collaboration and synergy across disciplines.

Applications are due by Monday, March 4, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.


Program Information

The program will provide one semester free of departmental responsibilities in order for the faculty member to engage in substantive exchange and interaction with faculty members in another discipline that will result in the development or expansion of ongoing interdisciplinary research and teaching collaboration. The professorship may be taken in either the fall or spring semester of the next academic year. Activities that may be proposed in the fellowship plan include the advanced study of research techniques or theory in the other discipline, joint planning or piloting of innovative interdisciplinary coursework or preparation and project development for a multi-investigator interdisciplinary research proposal. In all cases, the need for and benefits of the additional expertise and training in the other discipline must be clearly established. As a part of this award, Keeler recipients will present on their research at a spring Red Hot Research event.

While teaching replacement costs are the responsibility of the department and/or school, the dean or the chair of the recipient’s unit will receive $12,000 to assist in meeting department instructional needs resulting from the award. After the visit, the faculty fellow will submit a brief report to the Provost describing the outcomes of the visit and offering suggestions for future planning.

Applicants must confer with both their home and host departments concerning their intentions to apply. Endorsement of the value of the experience and benefits to both units and the university are important considerations in the review process. 

The Keeler Professorship was a great opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in different departments and schools, and allowed me the time to develop both a new interdisciplinary course and focus my own thoughts on related research. I would highly recommend it to anyone pursuing ideas that span multiple disciplines.
Corey Maley, Philosophy; hosted by Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

My Keeler Fellowship was on the theme of water issues in Kansas – something inherently cross-disciplinary and collaborative. The Keeler semester (Spring 2022) allowed me the opportunity to spend more time with colleagues in Engineering and the Kansas Geological Survey discussing how we can build stronger connections in our research and educational programs related to water. Those conversations resulted in one funded proposal, multiple manuscripts in development, and discussions on how to better serve our undergraduate and graduate students.
Amy Burgin, Environmental Studies and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; hosted by Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering and the Kansas Geological Survey

The Keeler Intra-University Professorship has paved avenues for productive and enjoyable collaboration with scholars in Geography and Atmospheric Science. It helped me map out the directions for my future research and teaching.
Kyoim Yun, East Asian Languages & Cultures, hosted by Geography & Atmospheric Science

Eligibility is limited to tenured faculty members on the Lawrence campus who:

  • Have not held a sabbatical or other external leave within the past five years
  • Will not be on sabbatical leave during the 2024−2025 academic year
  • Have not previously held a Keeler Professorship

Applications should be submitted electronically and include the following individual files saved in pdf format:

  1. Proposal

    • 4-5 page proposal outlining

      • The purpose
      • Detailed Plan (including timeline and specific activities)
      • Specific Outcomes for the professorship
    • The significance of the proposed plan in relation to the assessment criteria
  2. CV
    • Current CV of the applicant
  3. Support Letter
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Both the home and host departments (or from deans of schools without departments) must provide a support letter indicating:

      • The mutual benefit of the professorship to the department and to the applicant
      • The significance of the proposed plan in relation to the assessment criteria
      • An evaluation of the faculty member’s record of teaching, research and service from the home department/school chair or dean (in schools without departments)

NOTE: After receiving items 1-3, staff in the Office of Faculty Affairs will share with each Dean a list of all applicants from their respective school and invite comment/endorsement at that time.

Applicants, units/departments, and dean/vice chancellor offices must use the online submission form to transmit application documents to the our office.

The applicant submits documents 1 and 2:

  • Proposal
  • CV

The unit/department submits document 3

  • Support Letter

The unit or department may also collect all the documents and submit them for the applicant.

Applications will be assessed on the following grounds:

  • Clarity of the purpose and plan for the professorship
  • Benefits of the project to the applicant:
    • Significance of the project at this juncture in the faculty member’s career
    • Potential for extending the applicant’s knowledge and skills to facilitate multidisciplinary research and teaching
    • Potential for a positive impact on the faculty member’s future career and productivity
  • Benefits of the project to the home and participating departments/schools and to the university:
    • Potential for developing interdisciplinary research programs
    • Potential for enhancing instruction by generating new interdisciplinary courses or areas of study 
    • Prior record and qualifications of the applicant to complete the plans as outlined


Past Recipients

  • 2023, Shawn Bitters, Visual Art, hosted by Geology
  • 2023, Phillip Drake, English, hosted by Economics
  • 2023, Margaret Kelley, American Studies, hosted by the Spencer Museum of Art
  • 2023, Crispin Williams, East Asian Languages & Cultures, hosted by Linguistics
  • 2022, Jay Johnson, Geography & Atmospheric Science, hosted by the Spencer Museum of Art
  • 2022, Kyoungchul "KC" Kong, Physics & Astronomy, hosted by Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • 2022, Corey Maley, Philosophy, hosted by Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • 2022, Kyoim Yun, East Asian Languages & Cultures, hosted by Geography & Atmospheric Science
  • 2021, Amy Burgin, Environmental Studies and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; hosted by Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering and Kansas Geological Survey
  • 2021, Benjamin Chappell, American Studies, hosted by Public Affairs & Administration
  • 2021, Trent Herda, Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences; hosted by the Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition
  • 2021, Michael Krueger, Visual Art, hosted by American Studies and the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment
  • 2021, Emily Witt, Mathematics, hosted by the Information & Telecommunication Technology Center
  • 2020, Prajna Dhar, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, hosted by Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • 2020, Stephen Dickey, Slavic Languages & Literatures, hosted by East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • 2020, Mary Anne Jordan, Visual Art, hosted by Environmental Studies
  • 2020, Tarun Sabarwal, Economics, hosted by Mathematics
  • 2020, Amber Watts Hall, Psychology, hosted by Social Welfare
  • 2019, Peter Bobkowski, Journalism
  • 2019, Sherry Fowler, History of Art
  • 2019, Marcy Lascano, Philosophy
  • 2019, Benjamin Rosenthal, Visual Art
  • 2019, Paul Scott, French, Francophone, and Italian Studies
  • 2018, Elizabeth Esch, American Studies
  • 2018, Marike Janzen, Humanities
  • 2018, Megan Kaminski, English
  • 2017, Yi-Chun Chen, Journalism
  • 2017, Alton Van Kelly, French & Italian
  • 2017, Tara Welch, Classics
  • 2016, Dorothy Daley, SPAA/EVRN
  • 2016, Shannon O'Lear, Georgraphy & Atmospheric Science / Environmental Studies Program
  • 2015, Sherrie Tucker, American Studies
  • 2015, Erik Van Vleck, Mathematics
  • 2014, Ebenezer Obadare, Sociology
  • 2014, Ben Eggleston, Philosophy
  • 2014, John Hoopes, Anthropology
  • 2013, Lin Stanionis, Visual Art
  • 2012, Frank Farmer, English
  • 2012, Jim Fang, Mathematics
  • 2012, Charles Marsh, Journalism
  • 2012, Jennifer Ng, ELPS
  • 2012, Fiona Yap, Political Science
  • 2011, Brian Rosenblum, Libraries
  • 2011, E. Bruce Hayes, French & Italian
  • 2011, Devon Mihesuah, GINS
  • 2010, Christopher Forth, HWC
  • 2010, Mary Fry, HSES
  • 2010, Byron Caminero-Santangelo, English
  • 2010, Tonya Hartman, Art 
  • 2010, Joann Nagel, Sociology
  • 2010, Anne Neill, English
  • 2009, Sandra Albrecht, Sociology
  • 2009, Derrick Darby, Philosophy
  • 2008, Jane Gibson, Anthropology
  • 2008, Janet Sharistanian, English
  • 2007, Carolyn Jewers, French & Italian
  • 2007, John Rury, Teaching & Leadership
  • 2006, Shirley Hill, Sociology
  • 2006, John Pultz, Art History
  • 2005, Maria Carlson, Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • 2005, Yaozhang Hu, Mathematics
  • 2004, Kathryn Conrad, English
  • 2004, Joey Sprague, Sociology
  • 2003, Marsha Haufler, Art History
  • 2002, Amy Devitt, English
  • 2002, Meharngiz Najafizadeh, Sociology
  • 2001, Jill Kleinberg, Business
  • 2001, Donna Luckey, Architecture and Urban Design
  • 2000, Mahasweta Banerjee, Social Welfare
  • 2000, Ann Schofield, Women's Studies
  • 1999, Lois Greene, Music and Dance
  • 1999, Joe Heppert, Chemistry
  • 1998, Lisa Bitel, History
  • 1998, Elizabeth Kuznesof, History, Latin American Studies
  • 1998, Iris Smith, English
  • 1997, Omofolabo Ajayi, Women's Studies, Theatre & Film
  • 1997, Edward Canda, Social Welfare
  • 1996, Michael Baer
  • 1996, Adrian Melott, Physics & Astronomy
  • 1995, Philip Hofstra, Law School
  • 1995, Carol Warren, Sociology
  • 1994, Wilma Holt, HDFL
  • 1994, Edward Morris, HDFL
  • 1993, Allan Hanson, Anthropology
  • 1993, Richard Hardin, English
  • 1992, Alice-Ann Darrow, Music and Dance
  • 1992, Anita Herzfeld, Latin American Studies
  • 1992, Robert Rankin, Linguistics
  • 1991, Thomas Beisecker, Communication Studies
  • 1991, Surendra Singh, Business
  • 1990, Phillip Kissam, Law School
  • 1990, Norm Yetman, Sociology
  • 1989, David Katzman, American Studies
  • 1989, Pete Rowland, Political Science
  • 1989, Marilyn Taylor, Business
  • 1988, Joel Gold, English
  • 1988, Kent Houston, Psychology
  • 1988, William Johnson, Geography
  • 1987, Robert Anderson, Libraries
  • 1987, Richard Branham, Design
  • 1987, Allan Hanson, Anthropology
  • 1987, David Holmes, Psychology
  • 1987, Aletha Huston, HDFL
  • 1987, Scott McNall, Sociology
  • 1986, Sharon Brehm, Psychology
  • 1986, Morris Kleiner, Business
  • 1986, Fred Lovitch, Law School
  • 1986, Leonie Marx, Germanic Languages & Literatures
  • 1986, Prakash Shenoy, Business
  • 1986, Thomas Skrtic, Special Education
  • 1985, Charles Hoag, Music and Dance
  • 1985, Thomas Lewin, History
  • 1985, Gerald Maggiora, Chemistry
  • 1985, Glen Marotz, Civil Engineering
  • 1985, Charles Neuringer, Psychology
  • 1985, David Saile, Architecture and Urban Design
  • 1984, Alkiviadis Akritas, Information Processing Studies
  • 1984, Theodore Johnson, French & Italian
  • 1984, Thomas McCleary, Geography
  • 1984, Keith Percival, Linguistics
  • 1984, Neil Salkind, Psychology & Research in Education
  • 1984, Lee Williams
  • 1983, Mohamed El Hodiri, Economics
  • 1983, Helmut Huelsbergen, Germanic Languages & Literatures
  • 1983, David Quadagno, Physiology & Cell Biology
  • 1983, Gary Shapiro, Philosophy
  • 1983, William Tuttle, History, American Studies