University Leadership - Administrative Council | Webster University

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. 

Ken Creehan

Associate Vice President Administrative Services for Finance

Ken CreehanKen Creehan is the University's Associate Vice President Administrative Services for Finance. The Associate Vice President has responsibility for Public Safety, Facilities Operations and Planning, Procurement, Payroll, Insurance and the Loretto-Hilton Center. His position is part of the University's Leadership team and the Provost's Council.

Ken joined the University in January, 2003 serving in various roles within the Finance and Administration Department including Director of Procurement Services, Director of Process Improvement and Special Projects. In these capacities, he championed numerous projects including the two new residential housing units on the main campus, the East Academic Building, the Palias Wenkheim, Webster's new campus in Vienna, the Gateway Campus in the Arcade Building, and the new Browning Hall Science Building. He also led cross-functional teams for the installation of both the purchasing card system and the automated payroll system. Prior to Webster, Ken invested 30 plus years in various corporate roles within the coal industry sharpening his business acumen.

Ken earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. While working at Webster, he earned three masters degrees starting with a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management, then a Master of Business Administration, and finally a Master of Science in Finance. Ken is also an adjunct faculty member for the George Herbert Walker School of Business.

Nancy Hellerud, J.D.

Vice Provost

Nancy HellerudAs Vice Provost, Nancy Hellerud leads priority initiatives for the Office of the Provost related to academic mission, including strategic planning and policy issues.  She works closely with the deans of the schools and colleges, the leadership of Webster’s network of international and domestic locations, and senior administration on initiatives to strengthen academics and academic operations. 

Ms. Hellerud manages the Office of Academic Affairs for the Webster network of campuses, including academic policies, academic catalogs, faculty records and data, and budget planning and administration. She is responsible for divisions and programs that support and strengthen student and faculty academic success throughout the global network of Webster, including Academic Advising, the Academic Resource Center, the Faculty Development Center, and faculty and student research funding and opportunities.  In support of global mobility for students and faculty, she oversees Study Abroad, Global Program Development, the Webster International Network of Schools (WINS) Program, and the Confucius Institute.  In addition, she manages Webster’s institutional accreditation and oversees the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.     

Prior to joining Webster in 2011, Ms. Hellerud served as interim dean and associate dean of the Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota.  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. 

Richard Meyer

Interim Chief Financial Officer

rickmeyer1Rick Meyer is the University’s interim Chief Financial Officer.  His position is part of the University’s senior leadership team and Provost Council.

Rick is a Missouri-licensed CPA with extensive experience in executive leadership, board management, non-profit management, finance & accounting, construction & engineering, forensic accounting, litigation support, insurance, M&A, and ERP implementation.

His previous experience includes a Big-4 CPA firm, regional construction company, and a large international construction/engineering firm.  Rick is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and serves as the voluntary CFO of two non-profit Veteran Service Organizations.

(Margie) Margarita Muthukumaru

Chief Information Officer

Margarita MuthukumaruMargie Muthukumaru has led the Webster University Enterprise Information Systems team as its 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. Known as a collaborative leader and business partner, Muthukumaru works with a results-driven focus to make Information Technology at Webster responsive, cost effective, and service-oriented.

Muthukumaru holds a MS in Management, 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 recruitment and retention efforts for Webster University’s home campus. He also supports international recruitment, retention, and student affairs operations globally. 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 the University of Louisville, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Midway College. 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 Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in History, both from Western Kentucky University.

John Pyle

Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President for New Business

John Pyle In this role, John Pyle grows and enhances Webster’s approaches to innovation across its services, programs and campuses to foster enrollment and revenue growth. Pyle will lead the University’s approaches to business incubation, entrepreneurship, strategy execution, partnership and joint venture development in ways that competitively position Webster in a rapidly changing higher education sector.

Before joining Webster, Pyle served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He has held other leadership roles in higher education, including VP for Enrollment, Marketing, and Strategic Initiatives and VP for Graduate and Professional Programs, both at Saint Mary's. Pyle also served in senior leadership roles with Hamline University as its Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing and with Aurora University as its Senior Vice President.

Pyle holds a Doctorate of Education in Leadership from Saint Mary’s University, a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Immaculata College and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Spanish minor from Kutztown University. In addition, Pyle completed the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Institute for Higher Education.

Douglas Rau

Interim Chief Human Resources Office

 dougrauDoug Rau is Webster University's Interim Chief Human Resources Officer since January 2019. Reporting to the President, his position is part of the senior leadership team. Doug holds a bachelor's degree from the Trulaske School of Business at the University of Missouri – Columbia and an MBA from St. Louis University.

Doug brings broad HR experience from several industries including life science, consumer products and manufacturing. His areas of expertise include talent strategy, recruiting, employee engagement, project management, risk management, executive compensation, retirement plan administration, succession planning, and leadership development.

Most recently, Doug served as CHRO/VP Human Resources for Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a $3 billion life sciences company with 10,000 employees in 16 countries. Prior to Sigma, which was acquired by Merck in 2015, he held senior HR leadership roles in Kellwood Company and Pet Incorporated. Since 2016 Doug has provided consulting services focusing on HR strategy for a variety of regional and international clients.

Rick Rockwell

Chief Communications Officer

Rick RockwellRick Rockwell leads the Global Marketing and Communications (GMC) unit responsible for aligning marketing, communications and brand marketing activities across the St. Louis, metro, military, 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.

Jeanelle J. Wiley

University Secretary and Senior Privacy Director

Jeanelle WileyJeanelle 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 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, 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

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.

Maggie Dankert

Webster Staff Alliance Chair

Maggie DankertMaggie Dankert serves as the chair of the Webster Staff Alliance (WSA), leading the alliance in advocating for staff with administration, pursuing concerns of employees, sponsoring programs of professional development, and promoting a sense of camaraderie. Dankert is available to staff members to discuss relevant concerns and interests with administration and faculty across the Webster community. She also serves as the International Credential Specialist in the Office of Admissions where she works to welcome new international students from around the world and from various educational backgrounds.

Dankert is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Japanese Studies, and a proud alumna of Webster University where she received a Masters in Management and Leadership and a certificate in Change Communication. She has lived in South Korea, Japan, and Nepal and is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion at Webster University. In addition, Dankert serves as president of the Junior Board of the International Institute of St. Louis, a non-profit organization that aims to welcome and assist immigrants and their families to become productive Americans, and champion ethnic diversity for cultural and economic strength.

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