Timothy A. McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of physics and astronomy, and professor of education in the School of Education, has been named associate dean for undergraduate education at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. 

McKay succeeds Angela Dillard, who has served as associate dean for undergraduate education since 2015. 

McKay has served as director of the LSA Honors Program and helped to establish the Digital Innovation Greenhouse within the U-M Office of Academic Innovation. A passionate advocate of undergraduate education, McKay led the creation of the Sloan Equity and Inclusion in STEM Introductory Courses (SEISMIC) project, a collaboration of ten large public research universities committed to making STEM courses more equitable and inclusive. 

“It is a real honor to have this opportunity to rejoin many friends and colleagues in LSA’s Division of Undergraduate Education,” McKay says. “I was fortunate to receive a great liberal arts education, and it changed my life forever. The LSA undergraduate education team works year-round to deliver this transformative experience to every one of our more than 17,000 students. We work together with LSA students, faculty, and staff to create equitable and inclusive learning environments, and to prepare graduates for lives of bold exploration and service to the common good.”

In his role as associate dean for undergraduate education, McKay will oversee more than 20 units in LSA’s Division of Undergraduate Education, including study abroad, learning communities, the First-Year Seminar Program, and undergraduate research, as well as academic support resources such as the Science Learning Center, the English Language Institute, the Language Resource Center, and the Comprehensive Studies Program. LSA offers more than 3,000 undergraduate courses every year and more than 90 majors and sub-majors.

In his scholarly work, McKay and his research team draw inferences about the world from large data sets. In the area of astrophysics, he and his team have used survey data to publish studies on a range of topics, including ultra-high energy cosmic rays; variable stars of many kinds; galaxy masses and morphologies; galaxy filaments, groups, and clusters; quasars; meteors; gravitational lensing; gamma-ray bursts; x-ray astronomy; and cosmology. His main data sources have been the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment, and the Dark Energy Survey.