Dean and director:
June 28, 2021
William & Mary has named nationally renowned ecologist Derek Aday as its next dean of the School of Maritime Science and director of the Virginia Institute of Maritime Science (VIMS).
Aday, who will start in this job at VIMS Sept. 1, is head of the Office of Applied Ecology at North Carolina Condition University, college director of the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Heart, a fellow of the American Fisheries Modern society, and editor-in-chief of the society’s flagship journal. His assortment follows a nationwide search to do well John Wells, who is retiring following 17 many years at the VIMS helm.
“William & Mary welcomes warmly Dr. Aday to the university community,” mentioned President Katherine A. Rowe. “Following the excellent leadership of Dr. Wells, VIMS and the College of Marine Science are positioned to increase the university’s reach globally in the coming many years. And for Virginia, VIMS is essential to making certain the continued prosperity of the Commonwealth’s ecology, economic system and coastal communities. Derek Aday’s talents and activities beautifully match these issues and options.”
For his section, Aday stated he embraces leading VIMS into the potential and the continued interdisciplinary operate needed to fix complex difficulties facing the waters of the Commonwealth, the nation and the planet.
“VIMS and William & Mary have outstanding histories and traditions and I’m extremely significantly looking ahead to starting to be a element of the foreseeable future of both equally corporations,” Aday stated. “I’ve adopted the fantastic science and experts at VIMS from afar for quite a few a long time, and I’m humbled by the possibility to join a group of proficient students and educators that is making a true big difference in the entire world.”
Provost Peggy Agouris claimed he’s been equally followed by VIMS scholars and college students. Aday has penned quite a few content in peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from the ecology of fresh new- and saltwater fishes to the impacts of mercury pollution on aquatic ecosystems.
“Dr. Aday is a remarkable scientist in maritime science and ecology,” said Agouris, “and we are privileged to have him lead VIMS and our Faculty of Marine Science. He impresses on the educational and the management fronts, both of which are essential to direct just one of the most critical and impactful marine science educational institutions in the earth. Less than his management, I am assured that VIMS’s advisory, instructional, and analysis arms will flourish.”
Aday’s 16-calendar year career in the Higher education of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU has furnished leadership expertise in all 3 sides of VIMS’ mission of analysis, instruction and advisory support. He reported he seems to be forward “to the prospect to lead a cutting-edge maritime study institute with a robust tradition of pupil instruction and a vibrant relationship to an superb college.” He also relishes the obstacle of guiding VIMS in its job as a technological advisor to the Commonwealth of Virginia for coastal and maritime issues, across what he named “an extraordinary scale and breadth of disciplines.”
Carl Friedrichs, Glucksman Professor of Marine Science at VIMS and chair of the Dean & Director Look for Committee, noted that Aday articulated an “inspiring vision for an progressive potential for VIMS.”
“The research committee was struck by Derek’s confirmed leadership throughout a wide vary of pertinent roles,” Friedrichs reported. “He cited suggestions that developed on, but also went further than, our existing strengths to boost far more bold, interdisciplinary analysis, advisory company and academic initiatives on troubles this kind of as climate transform and coastal resilience.”
An interdisciplinary worldview has been central to Aday’s achievements, both in investigate and administration. He at present chairs an academic department he described as “interdisciplinary at its main,” with researchers exploring numerous of the identical topics studied at VIMS, which includes aquatic ecology, biodiversity, conservation biology, fishery science and aquaculture, used toxicology, and world-wide modify.
Less than his leadership, the section acquired close to $9 million in once-a-year grant funding, made a unique outreach and engagement application and doubled the number of women and traditionally less than-represented, tenure-observe college associates. He also played a leading position in strategic programs just lately created by the two his department and college or university, an knowledge that will serve him properly as VIMS initiated its most current strategic planning method just past calendar year.
Aday also provides knowledge in taking care of the form of multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional partnerships that have prolonged animated and strengthened the VIMS mission. As university director of the Southeast Weather Adaptation Science Heart, he led a consortium that involved five academic establishments of larger training federal collaborators from the U.S. Geological Study condition climatologists and tribal associates from 4 nations. Aday’s management portfolio at VIMS will likewise consist of a wealth of institutional, point out and federal partners.
Prior to his present-day posture, Aday served as assistant dean of tutorial applications in the School of Agriculture and Lifetime Sciences at NCSU, in which he helped acquire an innovative curriculum that brings together demanding coursework, impartial research and research overseas.
At VIMS, he stated he is excited to further more fortify connections between the College of Marine Science and W&M. “Students are at the main of all factors of college life,” he reported. “The shared traditions of academic excellence at VIMS and William & Mary give a exclusive basis, and I’m keen to explore collaborations with Arts & Sciences, the law college and the organization college to integrate university student coaching in marine and coastal reports with facets of social science, policy, economics and other appropriate disciplines.”
The Dean & Director Research Committee was especially impressed by Aday’s observe file in advancing beneath-represented researchers in the industry of marine sciences, through HBCU partnerships and other efforts. As a section chair at NCSU, he aided build training applications for additional successful mentoring of under-represented pupils, and a new peer-to-peer community for incoming graduate pupils. “My dedication to range, equity and inclusion is honest, and I will be a tireless winner for range, in all its many forms, at VIMS and W&M,” Aday said.
Aday is excited to get the helm at VIMS afterwards this summer. “I’m enthusiastic about operating with a team of such impactful leaders,” he said. “Through the look for approach I was equipped to interact with President Rowe, Provost Agouris and associates of her crew, other deans at William & Mary and the affiliate deans and management crew at VIMS. I have occur absent impressed and impressed by their devotion to improving the excellence of both institutions and their eagerness to forge an even more powerful partnership by means of progressive new programs and initiatives.”
He also realizes he has large sneakers to fill in succeeding present-day Dean and Director John Wells. “For practically two decades, John has performed an remarkable occupation of making sure VIMS meets the instructional, advisory and study requires of the point out, location and nation, when also positioning VIMS as one particular of the very best marine science institutes in the state. I glimpse forward to working with exceptional school, staff members and college students to make on that tradition of excellence, and to making sure that VIMS remains a regarded chief in terms of fixing the difficulties of tomorrow.”
For his section, Wells stated he thinks Aday “will convey new energy and vision to VIMS, developing a path of excellence for the potential.
“Derek’s comprehension of our record, tradition and mission, alongside one another with his depth of administrative experience, deliver a solid basis for results,” explained Wells, “and I choose this opportunity to enthusiastically welcome him into the VIMS local community as our up coming dean and director.”
Aday will be joined in Williamsburg by his wife, Erica, and his daughter, Caitlyn. His son, Conor, is attending higher education. Aday’s father, David Aday Jr., is professor emeritus of sociology and a distinguished member of the W&M local community.