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Dr. Julian Z. Schuster Biography

Julian SchusterJulian Z. Schuster was named Webster University’s 12th president in 2019. An internationally educated economist with decades of experience building and leading higher education institutions, Dr. Schuster has promoted strategic investment in global academic excellence, pioneered international alliances and stewarded resources for new locations, and academic and administrative initiatives.

Dr. Schuster provides leadership and strategic direction for the university’s academic mission. Since his arrival at Webster as provost in 2010 and under his leadership as senior vice president and chief operating officer, he has championed and resourced initiatives to promote global academic excellence. He has focused on increasing the number of full-time faculty members and increasing funding for faculty research. Under his leadership, scholarly and artistic accomplishments of faculty members have increased significantly, and the first endowed professorship in the institution’s history has been appointed. He launched Webster’s first comprehensive academic program review and prioritization process, which is leading to the development of new academic units, increased STEM-related programs, and a renewed focus on the institution’s unique ability to provide international experiences. He is credited for bringing the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence to Webster University. Webster now boasts the No. 1 collegiate chess team in the U.S.

Dr. Schuster collaborated with faculty to adopt the Global Citizenship Program, a new general education program and a major component of Webster's initiative to set a distinct standard for global education. In addition, he has championed a deans’ initiative to increase global content in all academic programs offered across the Webster University network, working to significantly enhance Webster’s global reputation.

As president Dr. Schuster oversees units and activities that support the educational endeavors of the university, including finance and administration, information technology, enrollment management and student affairs. He launched a new comprehensive master plan for the home campus in St. Louis, paving the way for development for the next 15-20 years. In March 2012, the new East Academic Building, built to LEED Gold standards, added 42 new classrooms, while the Browning Hall interdisciplinary science building opened in 2017. In addition, Dr. Schuster led the establishment of Webster’s sixth international campus, and the first on the African continent; Webster University Ghana opened in 2013-2014. Webster has since expanded to Uzbekistan, where a new campus in Tashkent has quickly become Webster's largest location by enrollment outside the United States.

Prior to coming to Webster, Dr. Schuster served as Founding Dean of the Hamline School of Business at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. 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, Dr. Schuster has pioneered global alliances and promoted strategic investment in academic excellence while maintaining financial vibrancy.

Dr. 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. In addition to English and his native Serbian/Croatian, he speaks Russian, Slovak, Macedonian and Bulgarian and reads in six additional languages.  Dr. Schuster is a graduate of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and completed Harvard’s executive program in Crisis Leadership in Higher Education. He has had numerous international and domestic consultancies and has served on the editorial boards of several academic journals. In St. Louis, he serves on boards including the Faust Park Foundation, the Contemporary Art Museum, World Affairs Council, Citizens for Modern Transit and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Gateway Chapter.