Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble is Webster's first chancellor to serve as principal leader
for the global university system, after serving as Webster's 11th president since
2009. During a decade of her leadership, Webster has more than doubled its endowment,
substantially increased private scholarship funding for students, and strengthened
Webster's global diversity. Across her career at public and private institutions,
Stroble has emerged as a nationally recognized champion of expanding access to higher
education through need-based student aid, while also advocating vigorously for federal
support of university-based research. She is an experienced leader in American higher
education, known for her commitment to increasing access to Webster's education for
students worldwide regardless of their financial background, catalyzing academic innovation,
and encouraging universities' civic engagement and service to society.
During her tenure, Webster has engaged in a period of transformation, with an increased
focus on overall institutional excellence, which resulted in increased funding from
private donors, government agencies and businesses, and creation of several endowed
professorships. Webster's place in the annual U. S. News & World Report "Best Colleges"
ranking has risen from 33rd to 15th among Midwestern Regional universities and gained
their recognition for economic diversity, social mobility, and service to veterans.
She launched Webster's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and highlighted its mission
as a cornerstone of the university's excellence. She strengthened relations between
Webster and its host communities and improved and expanded outreach to alumni, parents,
Stroble's current research focuses on global patterns in women's higher education
leadership and the relationships among place, identity, and community. She advocates
for global inclusion and leadership, public-private partnerships, and the value of
independent universities through publications, invited presentations, and service
to international and national organizations of university leaders and heads of corporations
and government agencies. Most recently in March 2019, she was named by Diverse Issues
as one of the top 35 women making an impact in higher education.
Stroble holds a bachelor of arts in history and English from Augustana College in
Rock Island, Illinois, and two master of arts degrees, one in history and one in American
and English literature, from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She received
her Ph.D. in curriculum studies from the University of Virginia. Prior to Webster,
she held academic and administrative appointments at the University of Akron, the
University of Louisville, and Northern Arizona University.