Wilbert J. McKeachie

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Wilbert McKeachie
Born(1921-08-24)August 24, 1921
DiedJune 12, 2019(2019-06-12) (aged 97)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Known forMcKeachie’s Teaching Tips
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
Doctoral advisorDonald Marquis

Wilbert James "Bill" McKeachie (August 24, 1921 – June 12, 2019) was an American psychologist. He served as president of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Foundation and the American Association of Higher Education. He was a longtime faculty member at the University of Michigan and the initial author of McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, a widely read book on college teaching that was first published in 1951 and more recently in its 14th edition in 2013.



In 1949, McKeachie earned a PhD from the University of Michigan,[1] where he joined the faculty for the rest of his career. In 1950, McKeachie distributed a manual to his teaching assistants that covered educational strategies. The manual evolved into McKeachie’s Teaching Tips.[2]

McKeachie served as the 1976 president of the American Psychological Association (APA). He had been the president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2) in 1955-1956.[3] McKeachie was president of the American Psychological Foundation (APF) and he delivered the APF's Arthur W. Staats Lecture for Unifying Psychology in 2011.[4] He also chaired divisions of the American Association of University Professors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Center for Social Gerontology.[5] McKeachie was an editorial board member for twenty journals.

Honors and awards[edit]

Later life[edit]

Dr. McKeachie continued to teach until the age of 85, when he had his hips and shoulder replaced. He said that the surgeries were a result of a 50-year career as a fast-pitch softball pitcher; he cited his three softball no-hitters in 1976, the year of his APA presidency, as proud moments.[2] He died in June 2019 at the age of 98.[6]


The Society for the Teaching of Psychology created the Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award in 1980. Through 2004, it was awarded to an early career teacher or a graduate student. The award has recognized graduate students since 2005, as a separate award honors early career teaching.[7]

Selected works[edit]


  • McKeachie’s Teaching Tips (first published in 1951 and most recently revised in a 14th edition in 2013)


  1. ^ Bembenutty, Hefer (October 2008). "The Teacher of Teachers Talks about Learning to Learn: An Interview with Wilbert (Bill) J. McKeachie". Teaching of Psychology. 35 (4): 363–372. doi:10.1080/00986280802390787. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "One on One - with Bill McKeachie" (PDF). The Psychologist. 22 (7): 648. 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Division 2 Presidents". American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Arthur W. Staats Lecture for Unifying Psychology". American Psychological Foundation. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "Wilbert McKeachie". Learning Support Centers in Higher Education. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Wilbert McKeachie Obituary
  7. ^ "Excellence in Teaching Award Winners". Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Retrieved June 14, 2013.