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Morris T. Keeton, former Acting President at Antioch College, dies

Morris T. Keeton, former Acting President of Antioch College. Image courtesy of Antiochiana Morris Keeton, long-time faculty member, chief academic officer, and acting president at Antioch College died in Greensboro, N.C., on April 9, 2014. He was 97. 

Keeton served on the faculty of Antioch College from 1947 to 1977, serving as its chief academic officer from 1963 to 1977.

Keeton attended Southern Methodist University and Harvard (Ph.D, 1938) to study philosophy. He was ordained as a Methodist minister 1946, and was appointed as Antioch College Pastor and professor of Philosophy and Religion 1947.

Keeton was Antioch Associate Dean of Faculty 1960-63,  then Dean of Faculty 1963-1966. In 1967 Keeton was named Academic Vice President, and in that position he led the formation of the multi-campus Antioch College network that ultimately became Antioch University.

Beyond the Antioch campus, Keeton was served in a number of nationally significant positions in higher education. He was president of the American Association for Higher Education (1972-73) and served on its executive board (1966-67 and 1970-73). He served as an institutional evaluator for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (1959-77) and on its executive board (1973-77). Keeton also chaired the steering committee for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) from 1974 to 1977 and was its chief executive officer from 1977 to 1989. He chaired the American Council on Education's Commission on Higher Education and the Adult Learner (1981-89). Finally, he served as the senior scholar of the Institute for Research and Assessment in Higher Education (IRAHE) and also as senior consultant to the president and trustees of Cambridge College, Massachusetts from 1989 to 1999.

Keeton's research began in the field of history of philosophy, where his book, The Philosophy of Edmund Duncan Montgomery, is still the definitive work on that topic. In the theory of knowledge, he published articles in the Journal of Philosophy and The Philosophy of Science. He did extensive work on the assessment of extra-collegiate learning as author and editor, and in 1990 co-authored Employability in a High Performance Economy.

Keeton was a post-service Guggenheim Fellow and received eight honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of UMUC (2000). In October 1996, Keeton received the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) Leadership Award. In October 1999, he was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. In 1999-2000 he served as participant-observer in three of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Learning's Intellectual Renewal Seminars for women leaders.