Administrative Council

Julian Schuster, Ph.D.

Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Julian SchusterIn his role as Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 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.

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, Minnesota. 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, Schuster has pioneered global alliances and promoted strategic investment in academic excellence, strengthening and expanding collaborations with more than a dozen international partner institutions.

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. Schuster's professional memberships include the American Economic Association, the Eastern Economic Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

Visit the Office of the Provost page. 

Patricia Reardon Arnold

Interim Vice President for Advancement

Patricia ArnoldArnold is a results-driven fundraising professional with more than 20 years of experience in St. Louis. She most recently worked as President of the Mercy Health Foundation where she and her team of 55 employees raised more than $156 million in six years and was responsible for all aspects of fundraising for more than 19 hospital foundations in seven states.

Prior to that, she worked at the Missouri Botanical Garden as Vice President of Institutional Advancement. During her time there, her team managed a membership program of 33,000 households providing more than $2.5 million in annual operating income. She also developed and implemented the “Stewards of the Earth” campaign with proceeds exceeding a $75 million goal.

Arnold has an excellent reputation in the St. Louis community and fundraising industry. She was honored as the St. Louis Business Journal’s “Most Influential Business Woman” in 2010 and has also been honored with the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive in 2006. Additionally, she is on the board for the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis, the board for the Fair St. Louis Foundation and is a member of St. Louis Forum.

Nancy Hellerud, J.D.

Vice Provost

Nancy HellerudNancy Hellerud joined Webster University in 2011. She serves as vice provost and oversees operations of the Office of Academic Affairs, She works with other senior administration, deans and faculty on a range of policy issues and strategic initiatives, with a focus on improving procedures and policies and building Webster’s global enterprise. 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. She also oversees the Office of Study Abroad including the University WINS Affiliates Program, the Center for International Education, Faculty Mobility Program, and the Confucius Institute.

Prior to joining Webster, Hellerud served as interim dean and associate dean 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 juris doctor degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Hamline University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and German, also from Hamline.

Ana Karaman, Ph.D.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ana KaramanAna Karaman leads the Office of Finance and Administration, where she provides oversight of financial policy and direction for long-term budgetary planning, cost management and investment opportunities in alignment with Webster University’s strategic plan. Her position is part of the University’s senior leadership team and Provost’s Council, among other leadership positions. 

Karaman joined the University in September 2016, bringing her experience overseeing university finances, planning, and administration at several institutions, including a multi-campus institution. In addition to her administrative roles, she continues a successful academic career as a faculty member in political science, international relations, comparative law, and political economy. 

Prior to joining Webster, she served as vice chancellor for Administration, Planning and Finance at University of Washington Bothell, as vice provost for Institutional Planning, Budget and Effectiveness and tenured professor of political science at the University of San Francisco, and as associate vice president for Business and Financial Affairs at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where she began as assistant professor of political science. Karaman holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also earned a master of science degree in criminal justice and taught for three years. She has served two National Science Foundation Fellowships; the first at Harvard University and the second at Princeton University. She also graduated with a degree in jurisprudence from the Far-Eastern State University in Vladivostok, Russia.

(Margie) Margarita Muthukumaru

Interim Chief Information Officer

Margarita MuthukumaruMargarita (Margie) Muthukumaru has lead the Webster University Enterprise Information Systems team as it's director since 2010. She is a well-seasoned information systems manager and strategist with 25+ years of experience in higher education enhancing operational efficiencies, developing solutions, deploying and upgrading technologies and directing major technology and business initiatives. Passionate and result-driven to make IT responsive, cost effective, and service-oriented. Collaborative leader and business partner. She has achieved a MS in Management, MS in Systems Engineering, BS in Management and Industrial Engineering and a BS in Chemical Engineering. 



Robert W. Parrent, Ed.D.

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Robert W. ParrentRobert Parrent leads the University's global recruitment and retention efforts from Webster's home campus. His comprehensive insight and acumen in enrollment management, including leveraging the latest technology to better serve prospective students, helps 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, Kentucky.

In 2006, he participated in the Millennial Leadership Institute (MLI) in Washington, D.C., and in 2007, was one of 100 global participants in the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management (IEM). Parrent holds a doctor of Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in History, both from Western Kentucky University.

Rick Rockwell

Chief Communications Officer

Rick RockwellRick Rockwell is currently leading the Global Marketing and Communications (GMC) unit responsible for aligning marketing, communications and brand marketing activities across the St. Louis, metro, military, global locations and online programs with the University's mission and vision. This 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 global brand and managing institutional reputation.

Rockwell is the co-author of the book, “Media Power in Central America,” which won a national Choice Award from the American Library Association, among other accolades. He has worked as a radio and television producer for ABC News, a freelance reporter/producer for the PBS “NewsHour,” and a senior producer for Discovery Communications. Rockwell earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (BSJ) degree in radio-TV journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in international journalism from the University of Southern California.

Betsy Schmutz

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Betsy SchmutzBetsy Schmutz leads the human resources unit in providing programs and services that foster diversity and inclusion within the institution and supports strengthening Webster University’s global network of 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.

Schmutz holds a Master of Arts in Management, with distinction, from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science 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.

Jeanelle J. Wiley

University Secretary

Jeanelle WileyJeanelle Wiley is the University Secretary for Webster University and the Webster University Board of Trustees. Ms. Wiley is responsible for managing all official correspondence with Trustees, maintaining official records of all trustees and trustee committee meetings, keeping official records of actions taken by trustees and providing assistance in interpreting policies and matters of jurisdiction and governance. She collaborates with the President, the Provost, and Trustees to address issues of institutional governance, such as privacy, security, equity and communications. Wiley also serves as the University's liaison to external counsel for all legal issues institutionally.

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. She also received certification in paralegal studies from Boston University and has more than 16 years of legal experience working with St. Louis area law firms. Wiley holds a Master of Arts in International Relations, graduating summa cum laude, from Webster University.        

Currently, Ms. Wiley serves on the Board of Directors for Carney’s Kids, a non-profit organization in St. Louis that provides financial support and creates positive publicity for not-for-profit organizations whose primary goal is to improve the lives of children. 

Gary Renz, Ph.D.

Faculty Senate President

Gary RenzGary Renz serves as president of the Faculty Senate. The Senate is composed of faculty representatives from each of Webster's five Schools and Colleges, and oversees a range of concerns relevant to the academic life of the University. The Senate president represents the views of faculty on a wide variety of issues, working with administrators and staff across the Webster community.

Renz is a Professor of Management and has taught at Webster University for almost two decades. He has taught courses in human resources management, organizational behavior, leadership, and law.  Renz earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, as well as earning a B.S. from the University of Minnesota.  He also earned a J.D. from UCLA School of Law. His research has encompassed leadership, social networks, emotions in the workplace, fairness in testing, and motivation.

Blerina Polovina

Webster Staff Alliance Chair

As the Webster Staff Alliance (WSA) Chair, Blerina Polovina oversees all functions of WSA that include: presiding over WSA meetings, representing the WSA in all capacities. She is available to staff members to discuss relevant concerns and interests, is an ex-officio member to all staff committees, and is the liaison for the constituency to the university administration and many others.

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