Message from President Stroble

| October 25, 2010

As a result of President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble’s ongoing assessment of institutional leadership and talent needs and strengths, she announces the following updates, followed by a special announcement from Karen Luebbert, Vice President and Executive Assistant to the President:

Chief Financial Officer

A search committee, chaired by Associate Vice President Betsy Schmutz, will undertake the recruitment of a talented and diverse pool of applicants for Webster’s Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Stroble anticipates filling this position in January 2011.

Chief Communications Officer

A search committee, chaired by Dean Debra Carpenter, will undertake the recruitment of a talented and diverse pool of applicants for Webster’s Chief Communications Officer.  This individual will lead a unified strategic communications and marketing division that coordinates all aspects of the university’s strategic communications and marketing, both externally and internally.  Dr. Stroble anticipates filling this position in January 2011.

Associate Provost for Planning, Policies and Operations

A search committee, chaired by Dean Benjamin Ola Akande, will undertake the recruitment of a talented and diverse pool of applicants for Webster’s Associate Provost for Planning, Policies, and Operations.  Dr. Julian Schuster anticipates filling this position in January 2011.

New Office: Corporate Partnerships

A new office at Webster University will strengthen and initiate corporate partnerships. On behalf of Webster, the office will create opportunities for individuals and programs within each of the five colleges as well as university administrative units to collaborate with business and industry to achieve important educational goals. In addition to his deanship, Dr. Akande will serve as Corporate Partnership Chief.

Karen Luebbert Announces Retirement

Finally, Dr. Karen Luebbert, Vice President and Executive Assistant to the President, makes this announcement:

After nearly 50 years of having Webster University be a significant part of my life (4 years as an undergraduate and 45 years as a staff member), I have made the decision to retire on May 31, 2011.

I had the best experience an undergraduate could have had, and for many, many years, I have had the best job in the world. I have made friends who will be friends long after I retire; I have had enriching personal and professional experiences that have shaped me, and I will never forget those. It is time, however, to move on–to spend time with my best friends, my husband, Jack, my daughter, Kati, and her family.

I thank all of you at Webster for allowing me the opportunity to work with and serve you. As I am sure you know, I am very pleased and excited with Beth’s new leadership and know that our Webster is and will remain in good hands. Until May 31, 2011, I am here, fully engaged and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you.

Category: Employee News, Presidential Messages, Webster News

Comments (12)

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  1. Billy Ratz says:

    Webster is such a great place to work and to have been a students thanks to Karen. She will be missed by everyone.

  2. Sharon Hessler says:

    Karen – I wish you the best.  May your future with Jack & Katie’s family be everything you hope for.  I will miss you…sh

  3. Jim Grogan says:

    Karen has always been one of my Favorite Staff members, I always liked how if a person had a question, Karen took the time to get the answer for them. It may not have been the answer they were looking for, but she looked you in the eye and did not beat around the bush. you will always have my utmost respect. Thank You for you leadership, you will be Missed.

  4. Carolyn Cottrell says:

    Karen, thanks you for devoting your life to Webster.  You are a role model for many women here, a straight shooter, and a woman of integrity.  Thanks, too, for your encouragement of others, myself included.

  5. Diane Fagan says:


    You held the bar high, listened and cared deeply. No one could ask for more.

    Thank you.

  6. Tim Groza says:

    Karen, Wishing you all the best during your retirement. Before you go we have to sing the Webster University alma mater song one more time. I still remember you singing it so many years ago at our directors meeting. Take care, God bless you with many more years of Health and Happiness. Come to our beach one day, too Your friend in Myrtle Beach Tim:)

  7. Jen Holtmann says:


    Thank you for always treating us, and everyone with respect. You will be missed greatly!  Congrats and enjoy your retirement!

  8. Marilyn Heaven says:

    Karen I am so happy for you.   You and I have had a 38+ year relationship and you have always been supportive in every way.  You value to the past several presidents cannot even be measured.   Webster will miss you, you will miss your colleagues, but I a sure you will enjoy retirement as I have been for the past 6 months.

  9. Ralph Olliges says:


    It has been and is a pleasure to work with you. Now, you will be able to take in more Cardinal baseball games.

    ——ralph olliges

  10. Kelly-Kate Pease says:

    Many thanks to Karen for her service and commitment to Webster University. She is a first-rate professional and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with her.

  11. Karen,
    thank you for your warmth and kindness, as well as your open honest professionalism. I will miss you.


  12. CIndy Rose says:


    Truly, I  have to echo Carolyn Cottrell’s statement.  You are a role model for which many more should aspire to be.  Above all you admirable traits, I too have admired and appreciated you for being a straight shooter and a woman of integrity.  For me, there has never been one shadow of doubt about your commitment to this University, its mission or the people who serve(d) along side of you.   Soon you wil join the ranks of some pretty special people of Webster, the “Webster Retired”.  You earned it; enjoy the time.   My compliments on a job well done!   

    God Bless ~

    Cindy Rose