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Monday, December 7, 2020

Dean Allen Knehans Will Retire from OU After More Than 38 Years

On January 25, 2021, Dean Allen Knehans, known to all as Dr. K, will retire from the University of Oklahoma after more than 38 years of service. Dr. Knehans earned his Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1979, followed by postdoctoral training at Michigan State University in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. His tenure at the University of Oklahoma began in 1982 on the Norman campus as Assistant Professor in the School of Human Development, which housed the nutrition/dietetics program. He came to the Department of Nutritional Sciences on the OU Health Sciences Center campus in 1989 when the nutrition/dietetics program was transferred to the OUHSC. Dr. Knehans earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1997. He was named Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Presidential Professor in 1996 and named David Ross Boyd Professor in 2003. He served as Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences from 2008 until August 2020. He was named as the fifth Dean of the College of Allied Health in May 2017. 


Dr. Knehan’s teaching excellence has been recognized with numerous university and national teaching awards, including the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching, the College of Allied Health Student Council Outstanding Teacher Award, the OU Scholar-Athletes Most Inspiring Professor Award, and the Excellence in Nutrition Education Award from the American Society for Nutrition. During his career Dr. Knehans taught nutrition to students in the Colleges of Allied Health, Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health. He has chaired the graduate committees for over 30 MS and PhD students, and served on the committees of more than 100 other graduate students. His interest in students led him to serve as the faculty-in-residence for the Sooner Housing Center on the Norman campus from 2000-2013.  He has been an invited teacher internationally, having taught medical and dietetic students at universities in Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico and also at the Air Force Academy as a visiting instructor. Dr. Knehans has been actively engaged in research, primarily in the area of obesity and related conditions.  He has published over 120 refereed journal articles and abstracts during his career.  He was appointed by the State Senate to the Oklahoma State Task Force on Childhood Health and has also served on the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition Advisory Board, a non-profit group committed to reducing childhood obesity rates in the State of Oklahoma. 


Dr. Knehans and his wife, Jean, have been married since 1974. Together they have three sons: John, Jeff and Jimmy, and have 4 grandchildren. Dr. Knehans is an active runner, having completed 26 marathons.


A campaign to name a Lectureship in his honor is underway until January 24, 2021. Please consider making a gift in Dr. K’s honor so his legacy can live in perpetuity. You can make a gift directly by visiting


If you’d like to congratulate Dr. K with a video message or by signing a virtual card, you can do so here:  and


Topic: Dean Allen Knehans' Retirement Party
Time: Jan 25, 2021 03:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 934 6372 7183
Passcode: 43060297