After nine years as the president of the Webb Institute, R. Keith Michel announced his plans to retire effective June 30, 2022. He made the announcement at the Oct. 15, 2020, Webb Board of Trustees Meeting, at which time the search for the 17th president was formally launched.

Webb Institute President R. Keith Michel

President Michel will leave a lasting influence on Glen Cove, N.Y.-based 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 needs of incoming students, to name a few.  

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

In August, a national search to launched to identify qualified candidates. Jon LaBerge, vice chairman of Webb’s Board of Trustees, is chairing the search committee. The search committee is with the national search firm WittKieffer.

“Webb provides a unique educational experience for its highly motivated and academically gifted student body,” Jon LaBerge, chair of the search committee, said in a statement. “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.