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VIMS Dean & Director Search

William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science

After serving as Dean & Director of VIMS since 2004, John Wells will be retiring at the end of the 2021 academic year. William & Mary is conducting a national search for the next VIMS Dean & Director.

Founded in 1940, VIMS is one of the largest marine science centers in the U.S., with a focus on coastal and estuarine science. In the years since its founding, VIMS has developed unique capabilities in people, practices, and infrastructure that allow it to provide the honest, unbiased science and guidance needed to help address the pressing issues facing our watersheds, estuaries, coasts, and ocean. VIMS offers graduate education in marine science through its School of Marine Science, conferring graduate degrees in marine science at the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. level.

The next VIMS Dean & Director will take the helm after a period of significant enhancements to research, education, advisory service programs, and infrastructure due to the vision and leadership of Dr. Wells. Reporting to the W&M Provost, the Dean & Director will provide the vision and leadership that are required for VIMS to be a world-renowned center of excellence in marine science, expanding the frontiers of science through research and discovery, educating the next generation of marine science leaders, and making an impact on the state, nation, and world by applying this knowledge to important societal issues.

This is an exciting time to join William & Mary. Peggy Agouris became William & Mary's sixth provost on July 1, 2019. An award-winning scholar and researcher and expert in digital image processing and analysis, remote sensing, and geospatial information systems, Provost Agouris was previously Dean of George Mason University’s College of Science and has demonstrated impressive success as an academic leader, including recruitment and retention of excellent faculty, collaboration with colleagues to advance diversity, equality and inclusion, and leadership of efforts to advance organizational sustainability.

W&M Provost Agouris has appointed a 15-member search committee, chaired by Glucksman Professor of Marine Science Carl Friedrichs. The search will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.

Position Profile

The next Dean & Director of VIMS will be a creative and bold leader with an open-minded, collegial leadership style and the energy and integrity to inspire others, and to envision the future of VIMS. Download the full position profile (pdf).

Apply, Nominate or Contact Search Firm

To apply for the position of Dean and Director of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, nominate a candidate, or contact the search firm, visit Isaacson, Miller's website at

Search Input

We invite you to complete an input form to share your suggestions, questions, and perspectives regarding the next Dean & Director of VIMS. Responses will go to the Search Committee via the Committee’s Chair, Carl Friedrichs.