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 tripled 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 educational access and success for
students worldwide, 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, creation of several endowed professorships,
and improving academic facilities and technologies necessary for Webster’s programs.
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 recognition
for economic diversity, social mobility, and service to veterans. She launched Webster's
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and highlighted its mission as a cornerstone
of the university's excellence. 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's current research focuses on the relationships among place, identity, and
community. She advocates for global inclusion and leadership, innovative 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. As higher education co-chair
for the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network, she engages colleagues and students
worldwide in popularizing the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development
Goals with a specific focus on achieving gender equality. As a member of the board
for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, she chairs the education committee.
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.