New Chancellor and President Named at Webster University
September 19, 2019
ST. LOUIS - The Webster University Board of Trustees appointed Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble chancellor of the University today and named Julian Z. Schuster Webster’s president. Their new titles and roles are effective immediately.
The new titles reflect the duties that Stroble and Schuster currently undertake in the global network of Webster locations, a Board statement says. Previously, Stroble was the president while Schuster served in the roles of provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer.
“American universities in the 21st century must negotiate an expanding and demanding environment: changing student demographics, a global economy in flux, innovations in technology, and much more,” wrote Robert Reeg, chair of the Webster University Board of Trustees, in a letter sent to faculty and staff Thursday. “These realities demand new and sophisticated ways to engage internal and external stakeholders.”
The title of chancellor better matches Stroble’s current duties of leading strategy development and engagement of external audiences to grow the University’s endowment and reputation, Reeg explained. Under Stroble’s decade as president of Webster, the University’s endowment has grown 160% and its ranking in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings has moved from 33rd to 17th in the Midwest Regional category.
Similarly, the title of president better reflects Schuster’s duties of improving the University’s performance and efficiency throughout the global system. Under Schuster’s decade as provost, the University substantially improved academic performance including launching numerous new programs such as one of the region’s first master’s degrees in Cybersecurity, improved or built physical infrastructure totaling more than $100 million, while also curtailing operational expenditures.
Reeg’s letter noted that most American independent universities are based at a single campus, while Webster’s campus network spans the globe. Webster’s system is comprised of the historic campus in Webster Groves, Missouri, multiple sites in and around St. Louis, Missouri, 60 locations across the United States and on military bases where full degrees are offered; through online programming; and in eight countries on three continents outside of the United States. University systems that have multiple locations – such as the University of California or University of Missouri systems – traditionally have a chancellor as the chief executive officer.
Nearly two-thirds of Webster’s more than 12,000 students are pursuing graduate degrees, making Webster among the top 10 largest master’s level private universities in the United States. Having a chancellor better aligns Webster University with other similar-sized institutions of higher education and better meets the institution’s strategic goals, Reeg’s letter says.
Founded in 1915, Webster University is a private, nonprofit university offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and certifications to students in a robust learning environment at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and online.