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Webb Searches for New President as Keith Michel Plans Retirement

August 9, 2021

Webb Institute’s waterfront campus, located in Glen Cove, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island. Photo courtesy Webb Institute

Webb Institute’s waterfront campus, located in Glen Cove, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island. Photo courtesy Webb Institute

After nine years president of Webb Institute, R. Keith Michel announced plans to retire effective June 30, 2022, and the search is on for his successor at this top-ranked undergraduate institution specializing in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. 

Founded in 1889 by New York-based shipbuilder William H. Webb, Webb Institute is the only full-tuition scholarship, private undergraduate program of its kind in the United States, with a maximum of 28 students being accepted into the program each year.

Michel will leave a lasting influence on Webb with major milestone accomplishments including the Campaign for Webb, where members of the Webb community contributed a record-breaking $51.6 million in gifts and pledges; the design and construction of the state-of-the-art Couch Academic Center; and the expansion of the scholarship program to meet all demonstrated financial need of incoming students, to name a few. 

In August 2021, a committee of trustees, with the input of selected faculty members, administrators, and students, initiated a national search to identify qualified candidates. Jon LaBerge, Vice Chairman of Webb’s Board of Trustees, is chairing the search committee.  The search committee, working together with the national search firm WittKieffer, will conduct the search process, select and interview candidates, update the Webb community on the process and progress, and recommend a candidate to the Board for final approval.

Members of the search committee include: Jon J. LaBerge, Search Committee Chair; Bruce S. Rosenblatt, President of Bruce S. Rosenblatt & Associates, LLC; Dr. George Campbell Jr., President Emeritus of Cooper Union; Joseph J. Cuneo, retired Chairman of MARINEX International; Roderick MacKinnon, Professor at The Rockefeller University; Dr. Jennifer K. Waters, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Maritime; and Christopher Wiernicki, Chairman, President, and C.E.O. of American Bureau of Shipping.

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