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UMSL names Wright State dean as new provost

Kristin Sobolik, new provost at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, in photo provided by the campus Jan. 4, 2017
Provided | University of Missouri-St. Louis

Kristin Sobolik, currently the dean of the college of liberal arts at Wright State University, will become provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on June 1.


Chancellor Tom George announced her selection on Wednesday, praising her work in increasing diversity at Wright State in Dayton, Ohio. Those areas have been a big focus at the University of Missouri system in recent months.


“She has great experience across a wide range of activities that are essential to being a successful provost, including strategic planning, reaccreditation, budgeting, student success, capital projects, fundraising and faculty development,” George said in a statement.


“I was particularly struck by her successes in diversity and inclusion – areas in which UMSL currently thrives but can continue to grow with Dr. Sobolik’s leadership.”


Sobolik, 53, will be paid $260,000 in her new job.


In an interview, Sobolik said she was able to increase the number of diverse faculty and staff members at Wright State through targeted advertising and a stronger awareness on campus of the benefits of having professors and staffers who more closely matched the students that the university serves.


“We want to be successful,” she said, “and a diverse perspective on anything is very important. We need to have our faculty and staff ratios reflect our community and our student body. We have to be open to different opinions and different audiences.”


Sobolik noted similarities between UMSL and Wright State, which is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, in terms of their location and their mission. “Both of these institutions are very much engaged in the community,” she said.


Sobolik, who was chosen after a national search, will succeed Glen Cope, who retired last June. At UMSL, she will be in charge of academic affairs, student affairs and research administration. Prior to joining Wright State, she taught at the University of Maine. She holds degrees in biology and anthropology.


The University of Missouri’s Board of Curators holds the license for St. Louis Public Radio.


Follow Dale Singer on Twitter: @dalesinger


Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.