Keith A. Mays becomes School of Dentistry dean

Announcing Dean Keith A. Mays, DDS, MS, PhD

Keith A. Mays, DDS, MS, PhD, was appointed dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson announced June 7. With the approval of the Board of Regents at the June meeting, Mays becomes the 19th dean. He assumes the role on June 21 after serving as interim dean for just over one 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 Provost Croson in her announcement. “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.”

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, he was associate dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Dentistry from 2015 to 2020. Dr. Anderson will remain in his role as professor in the school’s Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences.

Previously, Mays served as division director of Prosthodontics at East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. He also served as 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 Doctor of Dental Surgery 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 Bachelor of Science degree at Morgan State University and earned a PhD at the University of Maryland. Mays has served as a member of the American Dental Education Association board of directors and has held numerous leadership roles with ADEA and the National Dental Association.

Mays becomes the first African American dean of the School of Dentistry. He plans to continue the efforts he has implemented during his year as interim dean while boldly looking toward the future of dentistry. 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 our learners and clinicians.