Provost's Council | Webster University

Provost's Council

The Provost's Council participates in strategic and long-range planning; proposes, reviews and endorses policy and procedures; and advises on matters relating to: academics, academic support services, research and other scholarly and artistic activity, enrollment services, space allocation, administration of extended and international campuses and distance learning, assessment, and fiscal planning.  


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.


Brenda Fyfe Brenda Fyfe

Dean of the School of Education

Brenda Fyfe has been the Dean of the School of Education since 2002. She is a professor and researcher in the field of education. She has studied the Reggio Approach for over 20 years and has been a consultant to many private and public schools during these years. She is a board member of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and the Association for Constructivist Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Fyfe has held many positions within the School of Education including being the MAT coordinator for early childhood education, the director of university assessment, chair of the School of Education, and the director of experimental and individualized learning. She holds a PhD in Education from Southern Illinois University, an MA in Early Childhood Special Education, and a BA in Sociology from Quincy College.


Nancy Hellerud Nancy Hellerud

Vice Provost

Nancy Hellerud joined Webster University in April 2011. She serves as chief of staff to the Provost, overseeing operations of the Office of Academic Affairs. She works with the senior administration, deans and faculty on a range of policy issues and strategic initiatives, with a focus on improving procedures and policies.

Prior to joining Webster, Ms. Hellerud served as interim dean (2010-2011) and associate dean (2004-2010) 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 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.

Ms. Hellerud's responsibilities include: Academic Advising,the Academic Resource Center, Faculty Development Center, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.


Ted Hoef Ted Hoef

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Ted Hoef joined Webster University in 1992. He leads all functional areas of student affairs, works closely with student government, develops student life policies and procedures, and consults with campuses throughout the Webster network on student life issues.

Prior to joining Webster, Dr. Hoef worked in student affairs at University of Illinois Chicago (1988-1992), Stanford University (1982-1986), and Texas A&M University (1979-1982). He holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri- St. Louis, an MBA from Texas A&M University, and a BS in Speech Communication and Mass Communication from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Dr. Hoef'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, and the University Center. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Webster University and in the higher education doctoral program at Maryville University.


Tom Johnson Thomas Johnson

Associate Vice President and Chief of Strategic Initiatives of the Walker School of Business & Technology

Dr. Thomas Johnson provides leadership for the development and execution of strategic initiatives, including the identification of emerging markets and the creation, development and delivery of new programs. He was the dean of Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology for the 2015-16 academic year.

Dr. Johnson is the program leader for the Cybersecurity Program at Webster University. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the SANS Technology Institute, and was the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the California Sciences Institute.  He was also one of the founding partners of the Forensic Data Center a company focused on computer forensics. He has published seven books, 13 referred articles, and holds copyright on four software programs. In addition to lecturing at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, he has also lectured at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and numerous Universities. He has appeared in both State and U.S. Federal courts as an expert witness.

Dr. Johnson previously was as a member of the Electronic Crime Task Force, U.S. Secret Service- New York and San Francisco field offices, and a member of the FBI Infraguard program. He was a member of the Information Technology Working Group and served as Chair, Task Force Group on Combating High Technology Crime for the National Institute of Justice. He also served as an advisor to the Judicial Council of California on the Court Technology Task Force. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.


Ana Karaman

Ana Karaman

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Ana Karaman leads the Division of Finance and Administration, where she provides oversight of finance, budget and treasury, capital projects, contract management and procurement, facilities management, public safety, and operations of the Loretto-Hilton Center. Her position is part of the University’s senior leadership team and Provost’s Council, among other leadership positions.

Dr. 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 PhD 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.


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

Interim 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 Interim 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

Interim 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.


Laura Rein Laura Rein

Dean of University Libraries

Laura Rein administers the Webster University Libraries, overseeing the provision of quality information and library services in support of the University's curriculum to students, faculty, and staff in St. Louis, at extended sites, and in online programs. 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 Eden Theological Seminary and Webster University. Dean Rein is the director of the University’s Global Leadership Academy, a faculty/staff leadership development program. She also serves as the editor of the Webster University Press, managing the existing catalog as well as acquisition and publication of new titles. She has been with the University since 1995. She received her Master of Library Science from the University of Michigan and her Master of Arts in English from the University of Kentucky.

Dean Rein has extensive experience is providing on-campus and off-campus library services and resources. Her teaching experience includes library instruction in information literacy and online short courses for the Association of College and Research Libraries. She is an active member of the MOBIUS Council, a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and is a Consultant/Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission.


Nicole Roach Nicole Roach

Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Senior Director for Community Engagement

Nicole Roach serves as Webster University’s inaugural Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion (Chief Diversity Officer) and Senior Director for Community Engagement. In this role she leads efforts to conceptualize, assess, nurture and cultivate sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is also responsible for developing and facilitating the implementation of projects related to the institutions commitment to being a valued neighbor. As an adjunct faculty member, she teaches courses in management, leadership and organizational development.

She holds a Master of Arts in Public Relations; Master of Arts in Human Resources; and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications with a minor in Women’s Studies from Webster University. She has completed two certificate programs, Diversity Management at Cornell University and Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard University.


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.