Dr. John T. Wells serves as Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Dean of William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at VIMS. Prior to becoming Dean and Director in 2004, Wells was a faculty member at LSU for six years and at UNC Chapel Hill for 20 years, the last 11 years as Director of UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences.
The Dean and Director has ultimate responsibility for overseeing approximately 425 faculty, staff and students housed in four Academic Departments, four 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 VA, and at the Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague, VA.
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 has approximately 425 faculty, staff, and students, and with an annual operating budget of $52 million is among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.