The Search for the Sixteenth President of Webb Institute


Webb Institute President, R. Keith Michel to retire; search committee has been announced

After nine years of service as Webb President, R. Keith Michel announced his plans to retire effective June 30, 2022.  He made the announcement at the October 15, 2020, Webb Board of Trustees Meeting, at which time the search for the sixteenth President was formally launched.

President 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.  Throughout President Michel’s tenure, Webb has continued to maintain its academic rigor, high graduation rates, and improved retention rates. During COVID-19, President Michel has continued to ensure the safety of students and employees as well as ensuring financial sustainability for Webb.

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.

“Webb provides a unique educational experience for its highly motivated and academically gifted student body,” notes Jon LaBerge, Chair of the Search Committee. “President Michel has had a remarkable tenure as President of Webb.  Selecting his successor to build on Webb’s recent successes and lead us into the future is a critically important role of the Board of Trustees and one that we take very seriously.  We look forward to an open and transparent process to identify a broad and diverse pool of candidates from which we will select Webb’s next president.”

The transition is expected to be complete by July 1, 2022. The finalists will be invited to campus to meet with the board, faculty, administration, and student representatives during the upcoming academic year.

The members of the search committee are as follows:

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.

About Webb Institute:

Founded in 1889 by New York-based shipbuilder William H. Webb, Webb Institute is a top-ranked undergraduate institution specializing in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Webb 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. Webb Institute’s beautiful, waterfront campus, is located in Glen Cove, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island.

If you would like to apply, express a suggestion or an idea for consideration,
please email Lucy Leske and Julia Bradley at WebbInstitutePresident@wittkieffer.com.

Please visit our Presidential Search webpage for updates: https://www.webb.edu/presidential-search/