Andrew Kersten named new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Andrew Kersten

Andrew Kersten will assume his new role as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on Aug. 1. He comes to UMSL after four years leading the College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences at the University of Idaho. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Kersten)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has tapped Andrew Kersten, dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho, to become the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Interim Dean Teresa Thiel will continue serving in that role until Kersten assumes his new position on Aug. 1.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Kersten will be joining our community,” said Kristin Sobolik, UMSL’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “He has excellent broad-based administrative experience including growing and nurturing interdisciplinary connections and community. He understands the importance of student success and faculty development and will be a great member of our UMSL team.”

Kersten’s first work in administration came at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, where he spent two years as associate vice chancellor, associate provost for academic affairs and director of graduate studies and before that was the chair of the Department of Democracy and Justice Studies.

He moved to Idaho in 2014.

In four years at the campus in Moscow, Idaho, Kersten has helped reverse enrollment declines and increase student retention in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The college saw a 46 percent increase in incoming residential first-year students, and the rate of retention of first-year students rose to 99 percent from the 2016-17 to 2017-18 academic years.

Kersten also led an initiative to launch Idaho’s first online degree programs, has proved to be successful at raising external funds and establishing corporate partnerships, and has cultivated interdisciplinary relationships within the college.

Now, he’ll bring those qualities to UMSL.

“I am so excited and proud to be joining the University of Missouri-St. Louis,” Kersten said. “UMSL is an amazing university and has an exceptional faculty and staff. I can’t wait to get started and am looking forward to Aug. 1.”

Kersten’s academic background is in history. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1991 and went on to receive master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati, the latter in 1997.

He joined the faculty at Wisconsin–Green Bay that same year.

Kersten specializes in modern U.S. history with research focusing on the history of struggles for equality and equity and how they have affected average people and impacted American politics and culture.

He is the author of such books as “Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-1946,” “A. Philip Randolph: A Life in Vanguard,” “Labor’s Home Front: The American Federation of Labor and World War II,” “Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast” and “For Jobs and Freedom: The Selected Speeches and Writings of A. Philip Randolph,” as well as numerous articles.

Kersten has also won awards for excellence in outreach, scholarship, teaching and collaboration from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Founders Association.

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