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Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean (VP/Dean)

Job Description

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is seeking applicants for the position of Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean (VP/Dean).

Founded in 1930, WHOI is the largest private, non-profit oceanographic institution in the world, with a community of approximately 1,500 staff, postdoctoral fellows, students, and affiliates. The institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system and communicating this understanding for the benefit of society. Please review our website and “Vision 2030 ” strategic plan to learn more about our mission and goals.

As head of WHOI's Academic Programs Office (APO), the VP/Dean is responsible for leading the development of all Institutional educational strategies, the implementation of educational programs, and their integration within the larger institutional mission of WHOI.

The VP/Dean is an essential member of the WHOI Senior Administration and reports directly to the President/Director of WHOI. Core responsibilities of the VP/Dean are: (i) to lead strategy and implementation of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, and other programs for undergraduates and post-graduates, and (ii) to develop and implement a strategic plan, in collaboration with WHOI leadership, to expand WHOI’s educational and research mission by developing new, complementary educational across educational levels. The VP/Dean should be an active, creative leader in ocean science and engineering education at the national and international levels.

The VP/Dean is an active contributor to all aspects of the Institution including scientific and strategic leadership, planning, and formulating policy, in addition to ensuring the successful operation of the Academic Program Office. (Click here: for more information)

A strong commitment to diversity and equity, scholarship, and education by the VP/Dean is essential, demonstrated by a distinguished record in research, teaching, academic leadership, and management. A doctoral degree and experience in a discipline related to ocean science is required, with credentials appropriate to appointment at the level of tenured Senior Scientist (equivalent to Full Professor).

  • Leads institutional strategy and program implementation with respect to its educational mission on the undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate levels.
  • Serves as the principal spokesperson for WHOI’s education mission and programs for internal and external audiences.
  • Oversees the Academic Programs Office in its role administering education programs and developing a supportive environment for students and fellows at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels.
  • Develops education policy in concert with scientific and administrative leaders, including department chairpersons, center directors, and the Education Assembly.
  • Works directly with Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) to broaden diversity and inclusion in all programs, and directly with the Chief People Office (CPO) to ensure appropriate engagement on matters regarding personnel matters.
  • Leads WHOI’s contributions to the success of the MIT-WHOI Graduate Program, the Undergraduate Summer Student Fellowship program, and others, and develops and leads new programs with other educational institutions in close collaboration with Senior Administration.
  • Serves as primary contact for Academic Programs with the US Navy, including partnerships with other elements of Navy graduate programs.
  • Develops and implements the annual teaching plan and budget to compensate WHOI staff for mentoring and teaching.
  • Develops and manages the budget and staffing for the Academic Programs Office, in collaboration with the Senior Administration team.
  • Works directly with the Development Office in helping to identify and solicit new sources of private support for educational activities.
  • Represents WHOI on the national and international levels regarding oceanographic educational policy and general scientific education issues.
  • Doctoral degree in a discipline related to ocean sciences or engineering.
  • Proven accomplishment and innovation in research, mentoring, and teaching at different educational levels.
  • Significant demonstrated experience as an academic leader with administrative responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication and ability to lead diverse stakeholders to consensus.
  • Significant experience and a record of success in working with faculty and students and developing a supportive and diverse environment for the community.
  • Experience with educational programs in research settings and in raising funds for non-traditionally funded education programs.
  • Familiarity with Title IX, FERPA, and other regulatory requirements.
  • A record of academic accomplishment that qualifies the candidate for the rank of Senior Scientist in one of WHOI’s academic departments.

How to apply

For additional information, please contact the Chair of the Dean/VP Academic Programs Search Committee, Dr. Richard W. Murray, Deputy Director / VP for Science and Engineering, initially by email ( ).  To apply for the position, please begin the formal process by clicking on Careers@WHOI and navigating to the Dean posting. 

Applications should include a cover letter, a CV, a diversity statement (the diversity statement should describe your vision for promoting diversity within the JP program and student body and provide examples of how you have implemented DEI programs or interventions within academic programs) and a Dean’s Vision Statement (up to three (3) pages long) that describes the applicant’s experience and vision relevant for this position. Please also provide the names and contact information for no more than three persons qualified to comment on your qualifications for this specific position. Maximum file size for each upload is 10MB. If you encounter problems uploading, please contact Human Resources at or 508-289-2253.

The review of applications will begin February 15, 2023. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Applications from members of underrepresented groups and non-traditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Institution will look favorably on individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to providing leadership, in scholarship or service, toward building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment. 

WHOI is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. WHOI believes diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components that support our academic excellence. We strive for a diverse and inclusive workforce, and encourage women, minorities, veterans, and those with disabilities to apply.

WHOI offers a comprehensive benefit package that includes, but is not limited to, relocation assistance, medical and dental plans, childcare subsidy, housing assistance, tuition assistance, an employer contribution retirement plan, vacation time, flexible scheduling, and family illness days. The Institution also provides dual career services for assisting your spouse or partner should they be impacted by your career decision. We have a dedicated team who will work with applicants to identify and explore available options within WHOI and the broader community, as well as in Boston and Providence. 

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