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 Friday, April 7, 2023 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.

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. 

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

  • Have not held a sabbatical or other internal or external leave within the past five years
  • Will not be on sabbatical leave during the 2023−2024 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

  • 2022, Jay Johnson, Geography & Atmospheric Science
  • 2022, Kyoungchul "KC" Kong, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2022, Corey Maley, Philosophy
  • 2022, Kyoim Yun, East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • 2021, Amy Burgin, Environmental Studies and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • 2021, Benjamin Chappell, American Studies
  • 2021, Trent Herda, Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences
  • 2021, Michael Krueger, Visual Art
  • 2021, Emily Witt, Mathematics
  • 2020, Prajna Dhar, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • 2020, Stephen Dickey, Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • 2020, Mary Anne Jordan, Visual Art
  • 2020, Tarun Sabarwal, Economics
  • 2020, Amber Watts Hall, Psychology
  • 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