UI’s longest-serving P&S employee: Kathleen McKeen, cancer registry director

Meet Kathleen McKeen, the University of Iowa’s longest-serving employee in the professional and scientific (P&S) category.

Title: Cancer registry director
Years at the UI: 58

Originally hired as an administrator for the UI Hospitals and Clinics Oncology Registry, McKeen advanced from cancer surveillance on a campus level to overseeing the statewide registry.

“Here at the UI, we contribute Iowa cancer data to what’s happening on a national level,” says McKeen. “The UI began its partnership with the National Cancer Institute in 1973. Not many states had registry programs 20 years ago; the UI is a national leader, helping other states to develop their programs.”

McKeen, 76, started working for UI Hospitals and Clinics in 1959. She currently works in the College of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, and she says she has no intention of retiring in the near future.

“Work has always been my hobby,” says McKeen. “I still feel as though I can contribute and mentor people in this field. I feel as though I’m making an improvement in people’s lives. I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t like what I’m doing.”

Or, watch on YouTube.

UI’s longest-serving employee series


  1. I’ve worked with Kathleen since my arrival at the UI in Pathology, having actually met her earlier at a couple of national cancer registry meetings. She is an exceptional person, with a dedication to her work, continuing knowledge, and interest in supporting and promoting the people with whom she works. During this time she has served the UI, the state of Iowa, and cancer registration across the country in an exemplary fashion.

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