Keith A. Mays, PhD, DDS, MS
Interim Dean and Associate Professor
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

Dr. Mays earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University, and then went on to earn his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He then completed a one-year General Practice Residency at the University of Michigan Hospital and Clinics. He received a certificate and a master of science in prosthodontics from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Dental School. He also practiced general dentistry as an associate, and co-owner of his own practice. He has also maintained a faculty practice while in academics.

Dr. Mays’ academic career also has included student advising, private faculty practice, and service as the assistant director of the University of Maryland General Practice Residency Program. He served as the Division Director of Prosthodontics at East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine, and as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry.  Dr. Mays brings a pragmatic approach to management, a keen sensitivity to the needs of individuals, and an appreciation for the dynamic relationship between patient care and student education.  Additionally, he has a strong commitment to faculty development and has leadership experiences from several dental schools and dental organizations.

Dr. Mays has several research interests that relate to improving patient outcomes and improving pedagogical methodologies. His clinical research interests have focused on improving oral motor function, specifically investigating compensatory movements of the tongue and jaw during speech, swallowing and mastication. His educational research interests have been investigating the use of CAD/CAM as an assessment tool in pre-clinical dental education. As well as, enhancing service learning during community based dental experiences for students. He is an advocate for better oral health as a pathway to improving overall health, and therefore has research interest in the role of oral health in interprofessional education and collaborative practice.

Dr. Mays is an active mentor for students and student organizations. He has served as the Faculty advisor for the Student National Dental Association. He has served as a committee member for Master’s student working on thesis for dental specialty training. In addition, he has served as research mentor for students and an ADEA faculty advisor for the Academic Dental Career Fellowship Program. 

He is a member of the American Association of Dental Research, American College of Prosthodontics, American College of Dentists, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, International Association of Dental Research, the Minnesota Dental Association, and the National Dental Association, and the North Carolina Dental Society. He will be inducted into the American College of Dentist in 2020. He serves as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee for the American Association of Dental Research. Dr. Mays currently serves as the Chair-Elect Board of Director, American Dental Education Association.