WSU Vice President for Research Christopher Keane has been elected as chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Council on Research (COR). His appointment officially started July 1 and will last through mid-November 2021.
“The APLU couldn’t have made a better choice in selecting Chris for this important role,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “He has a deep understanding of the vital role that the research led by our nation’s land-grants plays in contributing to the greater good. This appointment not only is a great testament to Chris’s expertise, it will also enhance the university’s reputation for conducting life-changing research.”
As a trusted voice for public research and land-grant universities across North America, APLU convenes, collaborates, and advocates with leaders of member institutions and partners to advance the public good. APLU helps public research universities cultivate the talent, discoveries, and engagement that equitably fuel the success of our communities and world.
COR consists of the chief administrative officers at member campuses and systems with responsibility for policy and administration associated with research, scholarship, and creative activity. COR, working with other APLU units, looks at strategic issues impacting the public land-grant university research enterprise, and also monitors compliance and regulatory issues affecting research. COR working groups have focused on such topics as safe and inclusive research environments, public impact research (PIR), research security, and improving the culture of safety in campus laboratories and work spaces.
“APLU COR brings together leaders in research from public research and land-grand universities across the nation to assess and develop policies that pertain to academic research, scholarship, and creative activity,” said Keane. “I am excited to lead the APLU Council on Research.”
Keane has served as WSU’s vice president for research since July 2014. He received a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Rochester, and a doctorate in astrophysics from Princeton University. Keane then joined the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), performing computational and experimental research in x-ray lasers, inertial confinement fusion, and ultra-high intensity laser-matter interaction.
In 1996, Keane joined the U.S. Department of Energy as the associate director of the Office of Inertial Fusion within the Office of Defense Programs in what is now the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). He held a number of positions, ultimately serving in the Senior Executive Service (SES) as NNSA assistant deputy administrator for Inertial Fusion and the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Project. Keane rejoined LLNL in 2007 and went on to serve as director of the NIF User Office from 2009 through June 2014. The football-stadium sized NIF, the most energetic laser in the world, supports a wide range of experiments led by university faculty.
Keane is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society. He is the recipient of the NNSA Silver Medal, the Defense Programs Award of Excellence, and the Fusion Power Associates Special Award. He serves on a number of boards and advisory committees, and has been a member of the APLU COR Executive Committee since 2017.