Dr. McKeown joined the faculty at UT Arlington in 1983 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology (at that time, the Department of Physical Education), serving 37 years as a faculty and administrator at the university.
As a teacher, Dr. McKeown is the exemplar by which all faculty in the department can be measured. At one point in time, Dr. McKeown literally taught every course offered by the department. The passion he brought to his students in the classroom was unsurpassed. He approached every lecture with the same enthusiasm, excitement, and engaging teaching style and has done so over decades of instruction. His classes were often looked at by students & graduates as, not only the most challenging, but the most rewarding and, otherwise “fun” classes within the department. In addition to the more common “content delivery” that Dr. McKeown expertly provided, he always emphasized and facilitated students’ “scholarly journey.”
As a scholar, Dr. McKeown brought a research focus to the department that undoubtedly elevated all areas of the department. While he established his own research accomplishments, as evidenced by his numerous published articles and abstracts over the years, it was his commitment to a philosophy of the importance of scholarship and research that shaped the culture of the department. Some examples include: the embedding of research experiences and requirements within the departmental undergraduate and graduate curriculum, establishing the departmental “research day,” and establishing the biannual Department of Kinesiology & Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Lecture series (experts from the field of sports medicine and exercise science provide guest lectures which regularly draw over 300 in attendance per presentation). This lecture has since been renamed the Barry McKeown Lecture.
In the area of service, Barry played a particularly unique role. He has an extensive record of university service work, as well as a deep history of professional service through local, state, regional and national bodies. Among the many at UTA were Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Assembly, “Human Research Review” Committee (chair) and the Provost Advisory Council, as well as many others. In addition, for over 10 years, Barry served as the UT Arlington National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Faculty Athletic Representative. This service spanned 3 conferences (i.e., the Southland Conference, the Western Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference). In this role, Barry represented the faculty as liaison between UT Arlington, the faculty, administrators and student athletes on and off campus with numerous other institutions within our host conferences and NCAA, as a whole. I Dr. McKeown took great pride in this important role and his contribution in this area were greatly appreciated by Athletics at UT Arlington, as well as the Office of the President.
As an administrator, Barry truly changed the path of the department to a direction that has ultimately led to where we are today. His leadership and guidance of the historical, “physical education” emphasis (which still thrives, today) was unwavering. Through his professional involvement within this area of kinesiology, including his longstanding active engagement in the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), he helped lead this programming along with the professional field. In addition, it was Barry’s commitment to exercise science and sports medicine that helped establish both the academic and research footprint here at UT Arlington, from which there was (at one point) nothing. His longstanding engagement with the American College of Sports Medicine, as well as the regional Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine he fostered and created the first Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (producing the first graduate in this degree in the Texas in 1995)
Barry’s contributions and commitment will continue to be hallmark by which all future departmental faculty and administrators will be measured.