Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
In his role as Provost and Senior Vice President, Dr. Julian Schuster serves as chief academic officer and chief advisor to President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, and has direct involvement in the strategic and day-to-day leadership of the institution.
Dr. Schuster assumed his position at Webster in July 2010, after serving as Founding Dean of the Hamline School of Business at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Prior to that, he served in several capacities at the University of New Haven from 1996 to 2006, including Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, Director of the Doctoral Program, Director of the Executive MBA Program, and Associate Dean and Dean of the School of Business.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Schuster has pioneered global alliances and promoted strategic investment in academic excellence, strengthening and expanding collaborations with more than a dozen international partner institutions.
Dr. Schuster received bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Belgrade, one of the oldest and largest universities in the western Balkans. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the University Avenue Business Association and on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Pluralism and Economic Education. Dr. Schuster's professional memberships include the American Economic Association, the Eastern Economic Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
(William) Kenneth Freeman
Chief Information Officer and Vice President
Kenneth Freeman is responsible for aspects of technology across the University's more than 100 domestic and international sites. This includes responsibility for enterprise information system and technical services and architecture, desktop support, instructional lab support, media center operations, technology help desk and training, IT policy and information security.
Freeman joined the University in April, 2011 as the Interim Chief Information Officer and Vice President. Ken brings extensive experience in senior IT leadership roles―leveraging IT strategies to align with business initiatives. His prior employment includes Monsanto, CIGNA, Fleet Financial Group, United Parcel Service and IBM. Ken brings to his position expertise in network management, performance score cards, process re-engineering, strategic business planning, vendor governance and organization assessment.
Ken received his BS in business management from Herbert H. Lehman College in New York and his MS in telecommunications from New York University. He is a graduate of the Society of Information Management Regional Leadership Forum and holds a certificate in ITIL V3 Service Management.
Ken serves on the board of director of Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, and the IT
committee for the St. Louis Metro Urban League.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Greg Gunderson leads the global finance and administrative unit. His unit plays a key role translating the University's strategic vision into a tactical roadmap by providing global leadership via finance and general accounting, purchasing, endowment and treasury administration, public safety, and facilities support. He has provided accounting and financial leadership for more than 20 years with experience in both the corporate and higher education settings at international organizations including the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, ConAgra Foods, Inc., Cray Research, Inc., and Arthur Anderson & Co.
Gunderson earned a BS in business administration from the University of Nebraska at
Omaha and his MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He received his PhD in Educational
Studies, with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education, from
the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Associate Provost for Academic Planning, Policies and Operations
Nancy Hellerud joined Webster University in April 2011. She serves as chief of staff to the Provost, overseeing operations of the Office of Academic Affairs, and works with the senior administration, deans and faculty on a range of policy issues and strategic initiatives, with a focus on improving procedures and policies. She oversees the academic support units of Academic Affairs, including Academic Advising, the Academic Resource Center, the Faculty Development Center, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
Prior to joining Webster, Ms. Hellerud served as interim dean (2010-2011) and associate dean (2004-2010) of the Hamline School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota and was an assistant professor in the department of management and marketing. She holds a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law, an MA in Liberal Studies from Hamline University, and a BA in English and German, also from Hamline.
Ms. Hellerud's responsibilities include: Academic Advising,the Academic Resource Center,
Faculty Development Center, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
Barbara E. O'Malley
Associate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Barbara O'Malley leads the Webster University Global Marketing and Communications (GMC) unit responsible
for aligning marketing, communications and brand marketing activities across Webster's
St. Louis, metro, military, global locations and online programs with the University's
mission and vision. Her division includes the offices of Creative Services, Digital
Marketing and Communications, Strategic Communications and Public Relations. It is
responsible for creating awareness of the University's brand as the only Tier 1, private,
non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential
She has more than 20 years experience as a consultant and practitioner — both in corporate environments and in higher education institutions — of integrating marketing communications in the areas of marketing research, planning and measurement, advertising, branding, internal and external communications including media and crisis communication, web and digital media and incorporation of public relations and special events. She served as a state examiner for the Baldrige Quality Award Programs in Colorado and Ohio. A certified seminar leader, she has presented at regional and national conferences around the U.S. including Society for College and University Planners (SCUP) and Council for the Advancement of Secondary Education (CASE). Topics include marketing, branding, integrated marketing communication, change leadership and crisis communication.
O'Malley holds an MBA in marketing from the University of Denver in Denver, Colo., and a BS in communications and journalism from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. She also earned Executive Education Certificates in Dynamic Management from Duke University, Crisis Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School, High Performance Leadership from Oxford University's Said Business School and Global Leadership Academy from Webster University.
Robert W. Parrent
Interim Chief Enrollment Officer
Robert Parrent leads the University's global recruitment and retention efforts from the home campus in Webster Groves, Mo. His comprehensive insight and acumen in enrollment management, including leveraging the latest technology to better serve prospective students, will help the University achieve near-term and long-term strategic goals.
Parrent has more than 30 years of higher education experience, including leadership roles in enrollment and admissions at Midway College, the University of Louisville, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Prior to joining Webster, Parrent was vice president for Enrollment Management at University of Central Arkansas, vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Southern Indiana, and associate vice president for Enrollment Management at Southeast Missouri State University. He also has corporate experience as chief operations officer for Sheldon Management and Consulting in Bowling Green, Ky.
Parrent holds a doctor of Education from Indiana University, an MA in College Student Personnel Administration from Western Kentucky University and a BA in History from Western Kentucky University.
Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Betsy Schmutz leads the human resources unit in providing programs and services that foster diversity and inclusion within the institution and support the goal of investing in Webster University employees. She promotes compensation programs, insurance benefit programs and retirement programs that position the University to attract and retain top level faculty and staff who are committed to advancing and supporting the University's mission and purpose.
Schmutz holds an MA in management, with distinction, from Webster University and a BS in education, cum laude, from the University of Dayton. She has over 20 years of human resources management experience in corporate and higher education settings. A native of Indianapolis, she has made St. Louis her home since 1981. She is a current board member of the Diversity Awareness Partnership and has held prior positions on the boards for Beyond Housing and The Clayton Child Center.
Ruth L. Lederman
Interim Chief Development Officer
Ruth L. Lederman brings 25 years experience in the nonprofit and fundraising field to Webster University. Most recently, she served as vice president, director of Development of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, where she led an integrated development department responsible for all resource development, including, the annual campaign, planned giving and endowments, designated gifts, emergency campaigns, capital campaign efforts and corporate fundraising. Under her direction, the federation reached many significant milestones including its largest annual campaign ($11 million) and comprehensive campaign (exceeding the $70 million goal.)
A cornerstone of Lederman’s success is her ability to cultivate, solicit and steward Major Gift donors through building strong relationships and guiding individuals to become philanthropists and leaders. She also shapes effective and goal-oriented lay and professional development teams. In addition, Lederman has the ability to address and solve complex organizational and business challenges with vision and in a strategic and creative manner. She was selected and participated in two prestigious leadership programs: Leadership St. Louis, sponsored by Focus St. Louis; and United Jewish Communities’ Mandel Executive Development Program.
Jeanelle J. Wiley
Jeanelle Wiley is the University Secretary for Webster University and the Webster University Board of Trustees. Wiley is responsible for managing all official correspondence with trustees, maintaining official records of all trustee and trustee committee meetings, keeping official records of actions taken by trustees and providing assistance in interpreting policies and matters of jurisdiction and governance. Wiley also coordinates the President's activities with institutional event planners, high-level search committees, and committees and individuals addressing issues of institutional governance, such as privacy, security, equity and communications. Wiley also serves as the University's liaison to external legal counsel.
Wiley brings over 20 years experience to the position. She is a graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa, where she received a bachelor's degree in French and International Management and received certification in Business and Economics from Institut Catholique in Paris. She began her career as a high school teacher and went on to receive teacher certification in French from Washington University. Wiley also received certification in paralegal studies from Boston University and has more than 15 years of legal experience working with St. Louis area law firms. Wiley is a candidate for the MA in International Relations.
Faculty Senate President
Gwyneth Williams currently serves as president of the Faculty Senate, composed of faculty representatives from each of Webster's five Schools and Colleges that oversee a range of concerns relevant to the academic life of the University. As Senate president, Williams represents the views of faculty on a wide variety of issues, working with administrators and staff from across the Webster community.
Williams is a professor of Political Science and has taught at Webster University for over two decades, and most recently served as faculty chair of Arts and Sciences. She is the faculty advisor for Webster's chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa, honorary society, and has supervised student internships at the Missouri General Assembly and in numerous political campaigns. She teaches a wide variety of courses in political science and public law, including constitutional law, religion and politics, and civil liberties. Her published work covers topics of custody law, the constitutionality of school prayer, and the fathers' rights movement. Recently, Williams has been involved in an interdisciplinary research project on the role of appearance and attire in academia, and co-authored several articles resulting from this study.
Williams holds a PhD and an MA in Politics from Princeton University, and a BA in political science, summa cum laude, from Knox College. She belongs to honorary societies Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha, and is a recipient of the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.