Dr. Derek Aday began his service as Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Dean of William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at VIMS in 2021.
Prior to becoming Dean & Director, Aday led the Applied Ecology department at North Carolina State University and was the director of the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. He is a fellow of the American Fisheries Society and previous editor-in-chief of the society’s flagship journal.
The VIMS Dean & Director has ultimate responsibility for overseeing more than 500 faculty, staff, and students housed in 3 academic sections, 4 research centers, and 10 supporting units (Office of Finance, Information Technology, Facilities Management, Analytical Services, Hargis Library, Safety and Environmental Programs, Office of Sponsored Programs, Vessel Operations, Marine Advisory Program, and News & Media Services) on the VIMS main campus, at the Kauffman Aquaculture Center in Topping Virginia, and at the Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague, Virginia.
The VIMS Dean and Director collaborates with, and is supported by, the other five members of the Leadership Team, which includes the Associate Dean of Research and Advisory Services, Associate Dean of Academic Studies, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and Executive Director of VIMS Advancement and VIMS Foundation. Members of the Leadership Team assist the Dean and Director in providing the vision, strategic planning, and overall leadership for the Institute as a center of excellence in marine research, education, and advisory service. They also assist in faculty and staff recruitment, development, evaluation, and retention; in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students; and in creating a sense of community throughout VIMS.
VIMS, with an annual operating budget of $52 million, is among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.