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Brief Overview of WHOI, the Academic Programs Office, and the Position of VP for Academic Programs and Dean

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was founded in 1930 and is the largest private institution in the world that is focused exclusively on ocean research. The Institution is organized into five departments covering primary scientific disciplines including ocean engineering, a marine policy center, academic programs, and marine operations. WHOI currently has a total scientific and technical staff of about 350 scientists and engineers.

The Dean is responsible for WHOI's Academic Programs Office (APO) which coordinates educational activities in marine science and engineering for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, fellows, and investigators, as well as summer and semester research activities for undergraduates, and informal education for K-12 students. The Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean is one of five VPs reporting to the WHOI President and Director (WHOI organizational chart). As a member of Staff Council and the Senior Administration, the VP/Dean contributes to formulating Institution policy, strategic leadership and planning, and the overall operation of the Institution, and serves on the institution’s promotion and tenure committee.

The MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (Joint Program) dates to an MOU signed in 1968 between the MIT President and the WHOI Director that joined the two institutions as equal partners. The number of Ph.D. graduate students in the Joint Program has averaged 145 in recent years, and most are in residence at WHOI and advised by WHOI scientists. The Joint Program has awarded over 1100 degrees and includes an MS program for U.S. Naval officers with more than 125 alumni.

WHOI hosts on average over 100 postdoctoral scholars, fellows, and investigators and the Dean chairs the selection committee for internally funded Postdoctoral Scholars. The WHOI Dean is the Principal Investigator on WHOI's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) NSF grant; this program hosts roughly 30 undergraduates each summer funded by NSF and other government and private funds. WHOI is independently accredited.

APO has an annual budget of over $16M consisting of funds from restricted endowment, tuition return, private gifts, and federal grants. Expenses include support for our various education programs as well as salary and benefits support of WHOI scientists who teach and advise in the Joint Program and assist with our education programs. The Dean is currently supported by a Budget Manager, Registrar, Graduate Admissions and Student Affairs Officer, Postdoctoral Coordinator, Housing Coordinator, Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, and a half-time Associate Dean.