The University of Minnesota has named Keith A. Mays, DDS, MS, PhD, dean of its School of Dentistry. Mays, who is now the school’s nineteenth dean, has been serving as interim dean of the school for about a year.
“I am confident, as are his colleagues, that Dr. Mays has the leadership skills, administrative experience, and academic strengths to provide excellent leadership for dentistry,” said university executive vice president and provost Rachel T.A. Croson.
“Please join me in thanking Dr. Mays for his service in the interim role over the past year and in welcoming him as the new dean,” Croson said.
Mays replaces previous dean Gary C. Anderson, DDS, MS, who has remained a professor in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences. Before serving as interim dean, Mays was associate dean for academic affairs from 2015 to 2020.
Previously, Mays was division director of prosthodontics at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. He also was assistant director of the University of Maryland General Practice Residency Program. His academic career includes teaching in preclinical and clinical prosthodontics, student mentoring and advising, and private faculty practice.
Mays earned a DDS from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and a master of science and certificate in prosthodontics from the University of Iowa. He completed a BS at Morgan State University and earned a PhD at the University of Maryland as well.
Also, Mays has served as a member of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) board of directors and has held numerous leadership roles with ADEA and the National Dental Association.
Mays additionally is the first African American dean of the School of Dentistry. He plans to continue the efforts he implemented during his year as interim dean while looking toward the future of dentistry, the school said.
Mays’s priorities include research discovery, fostering an inclusive environment for learning and clinical service, engaging the community, developing a collaborative curriculum, relieving the financial burden of dental school, and creating an infrastructure that meets the needs of the school’s learners and clinicians.