UW News

June 16, 2016

Former UW administrator Jack Keating dies

Jack Keating, former UW psychology professor and dean at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma.

Jack Keating, former UW psychology professor and dean at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma.Courtesy photo

John P. (Jack) Keating, former University of Washington psychology professor, dean of the UW branch campuses and vice provost at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, died May 10 in Palm Springs, California. He is being remembered by colleagues as a dedicated and engaging teacher, strong researcher and inspired administrator.

A San Francisco native and former Jesuit priest, Keating joined the UW in 1972 after earning his doctorate in social psychology at the Ohio State University. His earlier studies in philosophy and moral theology, coupled with psychology, led to a lifelong commitment to human development and social responsibility, which found expression in intellectual engagement and university leadership. In addition to chairing the UW Social Psychology Program for a decade, Keating held adjunct appointments in religion, environmental studies and architecture and urban planning. His research and writing were broadly focused on the person in society, including media messaging effectiveness, crowding and the longest and most involving: human behavior in disasters.

In addition to research and teaching, throughout his career he believed in substantive community service, applying knowledge to improve peoples’ lives. His involvement in the UW Faculty Senate, Senate Executive Committee and Faculty Code Committee resulted in raising faculty service to parity with research and teaching in faculty promotion and tenure decisions.

Keating co-chaired the committee that joined ethnic and minority programs on campus in the Department of Ethnic Studies, now the Department of American Ethnic Studies. For many years he served as director of the U.S. Institute for Ethnic Studies.

Chairing the search committee for the founding faculties of the UW branch campuses, he connected them to main campus departments, effectively integrating them programmatically.

Developing the Bothell and Tacoma campuses, with his own research in a nationally ranked Psychology Department, prepared Keating to be the first provost of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. There he unified the core academic programs of the state’s flagship Land-, Sea-, and Space-grant institution and UAF’s large Science Institutes.

Recruited for several university presidencies, Keating, then vice provost at UAF, became chancellor of the newest state university in the Wisconsin university system, UW-Parkside. Former University of Wisconsin system President Kevin Reilly praised Keating for his “forceful intellect, unquestioned integrity and unwavering commitment to higher education opportunities, a recognized leader in the region and around the state.” Retiring from Parkside in 2008, he consulted the University of Wisconsin system for a year before moving back to California.

Almost immediately he was diagnosed with a rare, fatal leukemia, which he accepted nobly, succumbing to complications May 10. A Rosary and Wake was held in Palm Springs, and a Requiem Mass will be concelebrated June 25 at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated in Seattle in the fall.

Keating is survived by his well-loved wife of 46 years, Dr. Pam Keating, in Palm Springs; and their son, Jake, and his wife, Wendy, in Seattle.