R. Keith Michel, Chairman of the Board of the Herbert Engineering Group of Companies, has been appointed President of Webb Institute, the country’s foremost school of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, effective July 1, 2013. The appointment was made following the recently announced retirement of RADM Robert C. Olsen, Jr. USCG (Ret.), who will have filled this role for eight years.
“Keith was a natural choice for us. His professional business experience will help open doors for our students as well as for fundraising,” stated John Russell, Chair of the Search Committee.
“Keith is highly regarded throughout the marine industry and will be an asset to Webb Institute,” added outgoing President Olsen. “I have worked with Keith for a number of years as he served both as a Board member and, most recently, as Chairman of the Board, and I look forward to a very orderly transition.”
Webb also announced that, effective immediately, Mr. Michel will step down as Chairman of the Board and will be replaced by Dr. George Campbell Jr. “One of the many challenges to this type of transition is to make sure we maintain strong leadership at the Board level. George Campbell is the right person at the right time for this job,” said Will Jenkins, Chair of the Nominating Committee. “The fact that we were able to bring Keith Michel aboard as President and have George Campbell agree to become the Board Chair says a lot about the strength of Webb.”
Said Mr. Michel, “Much of my success as a naval architect and businessman is attributable to the education I received at Webb Institute. Webb is a truly unique institution of higher learning, where each student receives a full tuition scholarship, an outstanding education in systems engineering, a blend of rigorous academic and hands on work experience, and assurances of a job upon graduation. Higher education is undergoing dynamic change, and I look forward to working with Dr. Campbell and all of Webb’s stakeholders as we seek to further enhance the Webb experience. Webb Institute has thrived under the leadership of President Olsen, and I am excited about this opportunity to build upon his legacy.”
“I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to chair the Board of Trustees of one of the nation’s most selective institutions of higher education,” commented Dr. Campbell. “While Webb is a relatively small college, throughout its 123-year history, its graduates have had an enormous impact on the marine industry, a sector that is critical to America’s national security as well as international commerce. I look forward to working with President Olsen, President-elect Michel, and Webb’s distinguished Board as we face the important challenges confronting an all-scholarship college with an unwavering commitment to academic excellence.”