W. Arthur “Skip” Porter has been named acting director of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and chair of the Department of Marine Science beginning in September.
He takes the helm from Lee Fuiman, who has served as director and chair since 2004. Fuiman will continue his position as professor of marine science and become the director of the institute’s Fisheries and Mariculture Laboratory.
Among many accomplishments during his directorship, Fuiman oversaw the establishment of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and construction of the Wetlands Education Center, Bay Education Center and the Estuarine Research Center building. He hired eight new faculty, created and produced the “Science and the Sea” radio program and significantly increased funding for the institute.
“As director, Lee Fuiman led the effort to position UTMSI as one of the best institutions for marine research and education in the country,” said David Laude, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “I thank him greatly for his work. Skip Porter will continue that charge as he recruits more top faculty and searches for a new director for the institute. This is an exciting time of growth for UTMSI.”
Porter will lead the national search for a new director and chair during his tenure as acting director.
“Lee has worked to build strong programs and has supported a very talented group of faculty, staff and students at the Marine Science Institute, and I look forward to working with these folks and our community,” said Porter. “While the search progresses, we will continue the goal to make UTMSI the premier research and education institute for the Gulf of Mexico.”
Porter will focus on linking UTMSI productively to the main University of Texas at Austin campus and to related industries. He will also continue to support the institute’s collaborative community and build upon the institute’s excellent relationship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Porter is a professor emeritus of electrical and computing engineering at the University of Oklahoma. At that university, he served as vice president for technology development and dean of the College of Engineering. He was president of the Houston Advanced Research Center from 1985-1998.