Jason Keith is Iowa State's next provost

Jason Keith has been named Iowa State's next senior vice president and provost, pending approval by the state Board of Regents.

Jason Keith head shot

Jason Keith

Keith has served for the past 10 years as dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University, Starkville. Previously, Keith was director of Mississippi State's Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering (2011-14) and led the MSU Energy Institute (2013-14).

"Jason Keith has a proven record of academic leadership at a land-grant university," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "He will be an excellent fit to work with our faculty and university leaders in innovating the future of our academic programs and advancing our teaching, research and extension missions."

Keith will begin his tenure at Iowa State on Aug. 1 as a member of the president's senior leadership team and cabinet. And as the university's chief academic officer, he will oversee:

  • Seven academic colleges
  • Graduate College
  • University Library
  • Enrollment management
  • Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Office of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach

The director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames National Laboratory also reports to the provost.

"President Wintersteen's vision for Iowa State University resonates perfectly with my belief in what a public land-grant university should be all about," Keith said. "I am thrilled to join her leadership team and have this opportunity to lead academic affairs to new heights in teaching, research, extension and service."

The selection process involved a national search led by an 18-member search committee chaired by David Spalding, vice president for economic development and industry relations and dean of the Ivy College of Business.

"We had a strong pool of candidates and are thrilled to welcome Dr. Keith to Iowa State University," Spalding said. "He is an accomplished academic leader who brings a wealth of experience, and his expertise will be invaluable in working collaboratively with our talented team of deans."

Keith earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Akron, Ohio (1995) and doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (2000), both in chemical engineering. He then joined the chemical engineering faculty at Michigan Technological University in Houghton as an assistant professor. He earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2006 and full professor status in 2011.

His research uses mathematical modeling to improve air quality and energy efficiency through the applied fields of reactor design and alternative energy. Keith is an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Society for Engineering Education.

Keith succeeds Jonathan Wickert, who is returning to the faculty as professor of mechanical engineering after serving 12 years as provost.

Wintersteen thanked Wickert for his leadership and members of the search committee and campus community for engaging in the search process and providing thoughtful feedback on the finalists.


Editor's note: This story is reposted from May 21.