The University of the West Indies Vice-Chancellery announced on Friday that Professor Dale Webber, current Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research has been appointed principal of the Mona Campus in Jamaica.
He will succeed Professor Archibald McDonald, effective October 1, 2018.
The appointment was approved by Chancellor Robert Bermudez, on behalf of the University Council, following a recommendation from Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
“Professor Webber has had a distinguished career in Coastal Ecology and Environmental Management and a strong and consistent record of teaching, graduate supervision, administration and research excellence which spans 30 years of service with The UWI,” the vice-chancellery said in a statement.
He joined The UWI in 1989 as warden of Taylor Hall (of residence) at the Mona Campus. In 1991, he moved to become lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, was promoted in 2003 to senior lecturer and then to the rank of Professor in 2010. Between 2003 and 2007, Professor Webber served as head of the Department of Life Sciences.
From 1992 to 2001, he was assistant director for the Centre for Marine Sciences at Mona, and returned as Director from 2005 to 2015, and held the Grace Kennedy's James Moss-Solomon Snr Chair in Environmental Management from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, Professor Webber was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies. His portfolio expanded to Graduate Studies and Research in 2016 when the Graduate Studies and Research portfolios merged.
The university explained that as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research, Professor Webber mobilised staff and students across all four campuses to develop eight multi-campus research clusters.
“This has resulted in four successful international grant applications, as well as a US$25million research monitoring Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the Government of Montserrat. He has also secured the establishment of posts of directors of Graduate Studies and Research at the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine campuses,” The UWI said.
In addition to his academic career, Professor Webber has held several public service positions, including chairman of Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) Board of Directors, convener of the CAPE Environmental Sciences Panel for the Caribbean Examinations Council, chairman of CL Environmental Company, and chairman of The Climate Change Advisory Board of Jamaica.
“At the national level, his effective engagement with the private and public sector is well-known. Particularly in the environmental private sector, Professor Webber led the transformation and operation of the EFJ, as the largest environmental grant/donor organisation in Jamaica, and as its chairman, oversaw its successful merger with Forest Conservation Foundation (FCF),” the statement said.
As an academic and a researcher, Professor Webber has produced five book chapters and 35 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has presented his research findings at conferences locally, regionally and internationally, has written over 20 technical reports for the governments of the Caribbean and attracted approximately US$2.5 million in research grants over the past 20 years.
He has supervised 21 MSc, 27 MPhil and 14 PhD students to successful completion across a range of interests, from water quality and coastal ecology to oceanography, ecosystem modelling and the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements in environmental management.
“The chancellor, vice-chancellor, University's executive management team and community extend congratulations to Campus principal designate, Professor Dale Webber on his appointment, and wish him every success in this new capacity of service to the regional institution,” the university said Friday.
The university also extended gratitude to Professor Archibald McDonald for distinguished leadership of the campus since 2013.