The following message was distributed on behalf of the Chancellor and the President
on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
To the Webster University community,
As the summer progresses, our community is busy planning to welcome new students this
fall and to resume traditions and events throughout the 2021-22 academic year. For
many students, faculty and staff who spent much of the past year interacting in remote
or hybrid settings, this fall will represent a "comeback" opportunity – one that we
hope will be special and memorable as we enjoy what sociologist Emile Durkheim called
the "collective effervescence" of coming together around a common purpose.
As an institution, Webster University is in the midst of a transition, continuing
to adjust operations and budget so that we are optimally positioned to meet the needs
of the students of 2021 and beyond. This summer at many U.S. locations, we shared
congratulations and farewells to colleagues who retired or took advantage of a voluntary
separation incentive program. We are thankful for the good work of these faculty and
staff members and consider them forever part of the diverse, international community
As we go forward into 2021-22, we can expect more changes and operational refinements
– all part of the continuous improvement that has long defined Webster. Responding
to the times and refreshing our approach is what has sustained Webster through more
than a century of evolution and renewal.
We will continue to attract new talent and reallocate existing talent and resources
across units wherever it supports the core mission to meet student needs and responsively
serve our communities. These plans include supporting new partnerships in student
recruitment and retention; implementing programmatic changes within schools, colleges,
locations, and student support services; and assembling teams to leverage new opportunities,
such as the recent $1 million federal health and human services grant
for our Professional Counseling program.
While the pandemic is not yet behind us, the past year has reinforced the value of
flexibility and the importance of finding safe ways to connect, whether from a distance
or in person. After a successful year of maintaining a safe environment on our campuses,
we encourage vaccinations among our community members and we will continue to monitor
conditions and follow public health guidelines that facilitate our safely being together.
We look forward to again connecting with faculty and staff at Fall Convocation on
August 19, and with students at the various orientation and “welcome back” events
over the first month of the fall term.
Until then, we wish you a safe, healthy remainder of your summer.
Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble
Julian Z. Schuster