Elizabeth Eckelkamp named UMSL’s first associate provost for student success

Beth Eckelkamp at New Student Orientation

Currently an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, Beth Eckelkamp (at right) will step into a new role Aug. 28. Here she interacts with incoming students Mylissa Jones (at left) and Kyra Hungerford during a recent New Student Orientation day. (Photos by August Jennewein)

In keeping with the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ commitment to student success, a new leadership position has been established to further that critical focus – and Elizabeth Eckelkamp has been appointed to the role following a nationwide search.

Eckelkamp, who first joined UMSL’s faculty in 2000, currently serves as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. Later this month she’ll begin her new campuswide duties as associate provost for student success.

Beth Eckelkamp

Elizabeth Eckelkamp

“Beth has a wealth of experience and leadership on our campus,” said Kristin Sobolik, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “She’s been instrumental in helping build the exceptional Dr. Marcus Allen Advising Center into a model for student advising and engagement, and she’s also helped lead our efforts related to increasing retention and graduation rates.”

Frequently the subject of praise when students and alumni talk about specific UMSL people who have inspired them academically, Eckelkamp’s passion for undergraduate student success is obvious. She’s known for bringing that energy to bear on some of their earliest experiences, such as orientation, as well as marshaling resources and support that make a difference for students throughout their college careers.

“It is no coincidence that Beth is one of the very first people that students and family members meet on orientation days,” said Assistant Dean of Students Miriam Roccia. “Whether she is sharing the reasons she chose UMSL as her professional home, the benefits of being at a research institution or that the goose is in fact the unofficial campus mascot, what the students and family members really feel is the love she has for the university and the passion she has for student success.”

Now she’s excited to assist in defining and meeting strategic goals by providing coordination, support and oversight for contributions to the UMSL student experience made by advising, student support and academic units.

“Being selected to fill this role is truly an honor, and I look forward to serving the entire campus to the best of my abilities,” Eckelkamp said. “There is such good work taking place at UMSL that impacts student success, retention and graduation, and I will work hard to advocate for and support these efforts while simultaneously creating new opportunities to better serve our students and each other moving forward.”

Charades at NSO

Beth Eckelkamp (at left) celebrates alongside her team during charades at an orientation session Aug. 4.

She will also continue on as a teaching professor of Japanese in UMSL’s Department of Language and Cultural Studies, where she served as director of language programs from 2009 to 2012 before transitioning to her current role as an associate dean.

Reporting to Sobolik, Eckelkamp will work directly with deans, directors, advisers and other campus administrators to design and implement an aggressive universitywide strategy for the improvement of undergraduate student retention and graduation rates. She’ll collaborate especially closely with colleagues in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Institutional Research, Enrollment Management, and Equity and Inclusion in pursuit of that goal.

Her responsibilities will include the development and implementation of strategic priorities for academic advising, first-year programming, curricular design and the reform of associated university policies and procedures.

“Beth will be an integral member of our leadership team,” Sobolik said.

The UMSL Experience

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