The Dean's Vision...

By Richard P. Neilson

It is my honor to address you as the new Dean. Many of you know me as a classmate, fellow student, professor or industry colleague.  I’ve been asked to discuss my vision of the next few years.

First, we have an extremely sound foundation from which to work. Roger Compton and the faculty have developed a solid curriculum responsive to our students’ and the industry’s needs. I look forward to the opportunity to continue that process, holding firmly to the principles upon which Webb was established while assuring our graduates are well prepared for the future.  We will change things as conditions warrant.  Mr. Webb founded the Institute with his eyes focused on the future.  We will do the same. To that end, we will be looking to our Industry Advisory Group to provide input on development trends in the maritime world, including offshore technology, alternative energy sources and environmental issues.

One of our biggest challenges will be replenishing the faculty with high quality professionals. We are currently searching for a Naval Architecture Professor, preferably with a background in Offshore Structures, and an Electrical Engineering Professor to replace John Hennings, who will retire at the end of this academic year.  And we need to make plans for the eventual retirement of other faculty members.  Finding the right people will be tough.

Webb is a community comprised of the student body, Board of Trustees, staff, faculty, alumni, Parents Association, and industry friends.  I look forward to the opportunity to work with all of you as a team to maintain the reputation Webb has earned. Your continued support, financial and intellectual, is needed more than ever in these times.  I’ve always thought the slogan used by the Lowe’s Home Center stores would be appropriate for Webb: “Let’s Build Something Together”.  We can modify it slightly: “Let’s Continue to Build Webb Together”.

Don’t be strangers.