Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble was named the 11th President of Webster University in 2009. The Webster University system, a worldwide institution with 60 campus locations, including its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, is the only Tier 1, private, nonprofit university with metropolitan and military base campuses across the U. S.; international residential campuses in Europe, Asia, and Africa; and a robust online presence. Webster is recognized as a “Top Veteran Friendly School,” is in the top two percent nationally for study abroad programs, and is a School of Distinction for the quality of online learning and degree programs. Webster’s faculty resources are ranked first among peers by U. S. News and World Report, and for 26 years, Webster has awarded more graduate degrees to African-Americans than any other not-for-profit public or private university in the United States.
During Dr. Stroble’s tenure, Webster University has solidified its reputation as a truly global university. The University expanded into Africa and Greece and built public-private partnerships with communities and institutions around the world. Dr. Stroble has focused attention locally as well, with the opening of the Gateway Campus in the Arcade Building in downtown St. Louis and the Browning Hall Interdisciplinary Science Building on its Webster Groves campus. Under her leadership, Webster has significantly increased private scholarship funding for students, increased its endowment by almost $100 million, established the University’s first endowed faculty positions, attracted federal funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and increased net assets by 30 percent. The University celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015 and significantly became five-time national chess champions.
Dr. Stroble is a recognized champion for inclusion who removes barriers to success for individuals and institutions. Most recently in March 2019, she was named by Diverse Issues as one of the top 35 women making an impact in higher education. She serves on numerous national and local boards of educational and advocacy organizations, as well as other non-profits, including the Council of Independent Colleges, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Repertory Theatre, and The Municipal Theatre Association (MUNY) of St. Louis. She is a member of the International Association of University Presidents, the Council on Competitiveness, the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils University and Research Leadership Forum, and the International Women’s Forum.
An early adopter of e-communications, Dr. Stroble is known nationally for her use of social media and frequently tweets from the account @websterpres. She was featured in the book #Follow the Leader – Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEdCEOs. Stroble earned a bachelor of arts degree 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, both from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She received her doctorate in curriculum studies from the University of Virginia. Her career includes academic and administrative appointments at the University of Akron, the University of Louisville, and Northern Arizona University.