Ralph Keen Named Dean of the Honors College

I am pleased to announce that Professor Ralph Keen has accepted the position of Dean of the Honors College at UIC, effective August 16, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Dr. Keen came to UIC in 2010 as Professor of History and Schmitt Foundation Chair of Catholic Studies, and he has served as Interim Dean of the Honors College since August of 2015. As interim dean, he initiated and oversaw a substantial revision of the curriculum, which will be implemented upon the arrival of the freshman class this fall. He has been involved with the college since his arrival at UIC, as a fellow and as a member of the Honors Council, of which he was co-chair in 2014-15; as a member of the college strategic planning committee (2011-12); and as a member of the diversity committee (2013-14).

Prior to coming to UIC, Dr. Keen was Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa, where he was also involved in the Honors Program. A renowned historian of early-modern religious thought, Dr. Keen served as executive officer of UIC’s Religious Studies program in 2014-15. He is the author of two monographs and a textbook, as well as editor or translator of five other books.

The Honors College is a national model for honors education in urban public research universities. We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Keen’s background and experience to lead this college. I extend my gratitude to Dean Karen Colley and the search committee for their excellent work on this search.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Keen on his appointment.


Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs