Provost's Council | Webster University

Provost's Council

provost

"Our goal is empowering students to think for themselves—to ask thoughtful questions and to care, deeply, about the answers."

- Dr. Julian Schuster

As Provost, Dr. Schuster collaborates with senior administrators in overseeing academic endeavors and in managing the internal administrative operations at Webster University. The Office of the Provost also supports the academic endeavors of the University, which includes Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Finance & Administration, and Information Technology.

Provost's Council / Senior Administration


John Buck John Buck

Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

John Buck joined Webster University in 2000. He provides leadership for all functional areas of student affairs, works closely with campus student leaders, develops student life policies and procedures, and consults with colleagues throughout Webster’s worldwide network on student life issues. Prior to joining Webster, Dr. Buck spent nine years working in student affairs at Saint Louis University.

Dr. Buck's responsibilities include: Campus Dining Services, Career Planning and Development Center, Counseling and Life Development, Dean of Students Office, First-Year Experience Program, Housing and Residential Life, Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs, Office of Student Engagement, Student Health Services, Student Conduct, and the University Center.

As an adjunct full professor at Webster, Dr. Buck has taught courses on leadership thought and theory for undergraduate and graduate students. His research interests include decision making in crisis situations occurring on college campuses, which was the focus of his dissertation. Buck is also a long-time faculty member for the Foundation for Teaching Economics “Economics for Leaders” program.

Dr. Buck holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Colorado State University, a master’s degree in management and leadership, and a doctorate in management (D.Mgt.), both from Webster. He is also a 2014 graduate Webster University’s Global Leadership Academy.


Eileen Condon Eileen Condon

Dean of University Libraries

Eileen Condon leads all aspects of operations and programming in Webster’s global library network, whose mission is to empower Webster’s diverse, global community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to fulfill their research, learning, and information needs now and in the future. She oversees all areas of library operations, including development, provision, and management of resources, collections, and services. She coordinates with staff at Eden Theological Seminary on the operation of the Webster-Eden Library System, a cooperative program that supports the teaching, research, and intellectual pursuits of Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary. Condon serves as editor of the Webster University Press, managing the existing catalog as well as acquisition and publication of new titles.

Dean Condon holds a master’s in library and information science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Spanish from Truman State University. She has been with Webster since 1992.


Tom Cornell Tom Cornell

Interim Dean of the School of Education

Thomas Cornell has lead the School of Education as it's Interim Dean since January, 2018. He is an associate professor in the field of education, with a focus on reading, literacy, and writing. Dr. Cornell has held various positions in the School of Education, including chair of the Language, Literacy, and Leadership Department, and program director of the MA in multimodal literacy for global impact program. Prior to joining the university in 2008, Dr. Cornell worked for the Rockwood School District and Ferguson-Florissant School District, served as President of the St. Louis Suburban Council of the International Reading Association, President of the Missouri State Council of the International Reading Association, and served on the board of directors for Gateway Media Literacy Partners. He holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University, an MA in Reading Education from Michigan State University, and a BS in Social Studies from Northern Michigan State University.


Carolyn Corley Carolyn Corley

Associate Vice President for Government Relations and Sponsored Programs

Carolyn Corley serves as Associate Vice President for Government Relations and Sponsored Programs. She has been with Webster since 2002, having served as Foundation and Government Relations Officer and Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations. Her current position is a dual appointment to the Office of the Provost, where she directs the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP), and the Office of Advancement. The ORSP team is responsible for developing, submitting, and managing the University’s comprehensive efforts to advance faculty research and secure grants.

Ms. Corley is also the University’s primary point of contact with members of congress, managing governmental relationships for the President’s office to inform strategy and respond to challenges and opportunities related to federal legislation. Before coming to Webster, she worked in grant development for Land of Lincoln Legal Services in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Ms. Corley has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Ecology from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.


Michael Cottam Michael Cottam

Dean and Associate Vice President of Military Campuses Online Education
Director of Online Learning Center

Dr. Michael Cottam oversees the Office of Military Affairs and the 28 military campuses run by Webster in addition to the online operations. He also works closely with the leadership of the metropolitan campuses, the deans of the schools and colleges, and the academic support units to further strengthen the experience of Webster students.

He also oversees the development and delivery of online courses and programs offered worldwide by Webster's schools and colleges. He is an experienced academic leader, strategic planner, instructional designer, and online education specialist.

Prior to joining Webster in 2014, Dr. Cottam served as Dean of Instruction at Portmont College at Mount St. Mary's in Denver, Colorado, where he led all academic, instructional design, and instructional technology initiatives. He has also served as Faculty, Associate Dean of Instruction and Director of Instructional Design and Technology at Rio Salado Community College in Tempe, Arizona.

Dr. Cottam holds a PhD in Educational Technology and an MA in Spanish Applied Linguistics from Arizona State University.


Simone Cummings, PhD Simone M. Cummings, MHA, PhD

Dean of George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology

Dr. Cummings serves as the chief academic officer for the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.  In this role, she’s responsible for providing leadership, management, and oversight of all aspects of the Walker School, including program planning and development; enrollment and retention; curriculum; hiring, training, and supervising faculty; accreditation; and business and community engagement -- at our primary location in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as at our more than sixty military, metro, and international locations.

Dr. Cummings joined the Walker School in 2013 as an Associate Professor of Management, having previously held faculty positions with Washington University in St. Louis and Simmons College in Boston.  She holds a BSBA with a Concentration in Marketing from Washington University, an MHA with a Concentration in Finance from the Washington University School of Medicine, and a PhD in Health Policy and Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Cummings serves on the Advisory Board of #GIRLSWITHPOWER, a Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri program. She’s also a board member of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute and the Missouri History Museum Sub-Commission.  Dr. Cummings is an active tennis player and also enjoys reading horror novels. She’s married to Donald Lawrence and they have two daughters, Nina Marie and Madison Elise.


Thao Dang-Williams Thao Dang-Williams

Dean of Extended Education

Dr. Thao Dang-Williams works with Webster University's five schools and colleges to enhance student services, lead a coordinated enrollment effort, strengthen programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, and build educational partnerships in the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

Dr. Dang-Williams has had an extensive career in higher education. At Ranken Technical College, she held the positions of Assistant Registrar, instructor, and then later became the first female department chair of the college. She then assumed the position of Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at St. Louis Community College. She has been with Webster since 2010, serving first as the Associate Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences and then as Interim Associate Vice President and Director of the Online Learning Center, prior to her appointment as Dean of Extended Education in 2014,

Dr. Dang-Williams earned her BA in Communication and Government with a minor in the Classics from Monmouth College. She also holds an MA in Communication and an EdD in Higher Education Administration, both from Saint Louis University.


Nancy Hellerud Nancy Hellerud

Vice Provost

As 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.


Scott Kilgallon Scott Kilgallon

Director of Athletics

Scott Kilgallon was named the Director of Athletics for Webster University on April 21, 2014 after an extensive search.  Kilgallon previously served at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC), where he was Athletic Director for ten years.

Kilgallon helped build UWEC's reputation in one of the most competitive conferences in the NCAA III, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  Prior to UWEC, Kilgallon served for seven years as Director of Athletics and cross-country and track coach at Southern Vermont College.  At Webster, Kilgallon oversees the department's 16 teams and close to 300 student-athletes.

On joining the Webster staff, Kilgallon noted, "I am very excited and honored to lead the Webster University athletics program.  It is an exciting time for Gorlok Athletics and I feel fortunate to join the coaches, support staff, University and student-athletes as we continue to move the program forward."

"There is a strong desire to provide our student-athletes with a great experience in a program in which everyone, from faculty and staff to our alumni and community, can be proud of their academic, athletic, and community service successes."

Kilgallon also noted one of his strong reasons for coming to Webster was "the commitment from upper administration to our faculty and staff is at a high level.  It is important for me that there exists a shared philosophy of working together to continue to build a strong program as our students work toward the attainment of their college degree.”

Kilgallon becomes just the sixth Director of Athletics in the 30 years of the program's existence.


Peter Maher Peter Maher

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, International Campuses and Initiatives

Dr. Peter Maher oversees Webster’s international campuses and partnerships with external institutions. His major responsibilities include coordinating budgets, monitoring enrollment, facilitating programs involving multiple international campuses, and ensuring smooth operations across the Webster worldwide network.

Dr. Maher's career in higher education began as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  He subsequently joined a software consulting company and was responsible for developing and managing a nationwide training program. In 2004 Peter returned to academia as a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Webster University. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Associate Dean in the Walker School of Business and Technology with responsibilities for assessment and accreditation activities throughout the Webster network.  Peter was appointed AVP of Academic Affairs, International Campuses and Initiatives in June 2015.

Dr. Maher completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in mathematics and computer science at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, graduating with a PhD in artificial intelligence.


Margie Muthukumaru (Margie) Margarita Muthukumaru

Chief Information Officer

Margarita (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. 


Donavan Outten Donavan Outten

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Extended U.S. Campuses

Dr. Donavan Outten oversees Webster’s U.S. Extended Campuses more than 25 metropolitan campuses in the United States, providing leadership and strategic direction for this important segment of the university’s student body. His major responsibilities include coordinating budgets, monitoring enrollment, facilitating programs, working with Deans and faculty to ensure student success.

Dr. Outten has extensive experience in higher education, as well as experience with both extended, multi-state campus structures and online education. He has served as associate vice president of academic extension at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, and director/associate vice president for distance learning at Unity College in Unity, Maine. As a faculty member, Dr. Outten taught courses in education and business including educational leadership and administration, urban special education leadership, educational assessment, human resource management, and business policy and strategic planning.

Dr. Outten earned his BS in Psychology from Bethune-Cookson University an MS in Human Resource Development and Administration from Barry University, and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University, all in Florida.


Robert Parrent Robert Parrent

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Dr. Parrent leads all functional areas of enrollment management which includes financial aid and undergraduate, international and graduate admissions for the Webster Groves campus. He came to Webster in June 2013 after serving as Vice President for Enrollment Management at University of Central Arkansas. 

Over the course of his career Dr. Parrent has served as Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Southern Indiana and as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services at Midway College. He holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Western Kentucky University and a Doctor of Education, Higher Education Administration from Indiana University, Bloomington.


John Pyle John Pyle

Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President for New Business

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.


Rick Rockwell Rick Rockwell

Chief Communications Officer

Rick 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.


Eric Rothenbuhler Eric W. Rothenbuhler

Dean of the School of Communications

Dr. Rothenbuhler was previously Associate Dean of the Scripps College of Communication and Professor of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University (2010-2012), director of the Media Studies MA Program at New School University (2001-2004), and a faculty member at University of Iowa (1985-2001) and Texas A&M University (2004-2010). He earned his PhD in 1985 from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California with a dissertation on the living room celebration of the television audience for the 1984 Summer Olympic games.

As a scholar, teacher, and administrator, Dr. Rothenbuhler has long pursued the integration of differing approaches to the study and practice of communication and media, and built a record of engagement with interdisciplinary programs, international scholarship, student media, outreach, and educational access.

Dr. Rothenbuhler's teaching and research address media anthropology, media history, and communication systems ranging from ritual through community to media industries, with special interest in music, sound, and radio. He is author or co-author of more than 60 articles, chapters, essays, and reviews on media, ritual, community, media industries, popular music, and communication theory. He has been a keynote or invited speaker at conferences and universities in China, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and at many universities in the US.


Beth Russell Beth Russell

Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies

Dr. M. Elizabeth (Beth) Russell joined Webster University in 1986. Dr. Russell is currently the Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies where she works collaboratively across the Webster global network coordinating efforts to create a positive progression for graduate students around the world. Dr. Russell also oversees the Academic Honesty Board, Graduate Academic Advising and is the liaison to the Graduate Council.

Dr. Russell holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University, a Master of Arts in Marketing, with distinction, from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude, also from Webster University. In addition, she attended the Penn State University Leadership Academy, an intensive program for academic administrators, designed to facilitate problem-solving, communication, and professional development.

A prime example of the quality of education and the spirit of life-long learning that Webster University inspires, Dr. Russell has been honored as a leader by the YWCA.  She is also a board member of Downtown STL Inc., and is currently the President of the downtown Rotary Club of St. Louis.  She has been honored repeatedly by Webster University for her leadership and hard work, and is in demand as an instructor, motivational speaker, and business communication consultant.


Peter Sargent Peter Sargent

Dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts

Peter Sargent is the Dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts and the Head of the Lighting Design and Stage Management Programs. He has been with the University since 1966. He received a BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and an MFA from Yale University. Mr. Sargent has worked with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis for 39 seasons. Highlights with the Rep as lighting designer include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Anything Goes, The Most Happy Fella, She Loves Me, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Mister Roberts.

Mr. Sargent is a member of the College of Fellows of American Theatre, the National Theatre Conference, the Educational Theatre Association's Hall of Fame, the Musical Theatre/Theatre Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Network Program Policy Committee for Young Audiences (YA). He is also a vice president of the St. Louis Chapter of YA, on the Board of Directors for National Young Audiences, and a recipient of a Special Citation for Education from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.


Tony Wallner Tony S. Wallner

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Anton (Tony) Wallner is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Webster University. He works with faculty, staff and students of the university to provide high quality academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences as well as professional programs, maintain adherence to university and college policies, and create new programs as well as engagement with community and global partners.

Tony earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has his M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Michigan and the Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. He began his academic career at Missouri Western State University. In 2000, he took the position of Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences and Professor of Chemistry at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. In 2008, he was appointed Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Barry University. He has mentored research projects with over 20 undergraduate students in his area of expertise, NMR spectroscopy, obtained funded grants, and developed a variety of new courses and programs. He has also engaged in various outreach activities with local community members and schools to promote STEM education in underrepresented populations.

Besides his passions for liberal arts and sciences education, STEM literacy, and NMR spectroscopy, Tony enjoys travel, sports and exercise, movies, theater, reading, and his rescue dogs and cats.


Steve Winter Steve Winter

Chief Human Resources Officer

Winter brings with him a diversity of experience and an expertise in a number of areas that are continually evolving in the work place. Among his areas of expertise are strategic planning, employee engagement and retention strategies, talent acquisition, learning and development and employee relations.

Before coming to Webster, Winter served in a diverse range of leadership positions. He previously worked in human resource leadership roles for Staples, Ascension Health, Gap Inc., and BJC Healthcare. He also founded the consulting firm, Inspire Human Resources Consulting, and previously served as an employment and labor attorney for the firm of Bearden, Breckenridge & Gidlow.

Winter holds a BA from Washington University and a JD from the Washington University School of Law.