Kristin Sobolik appointed as interim chancellor

by | Jul 17, 2019

Sobolik's appointment is effective Sept. 1 when UMSL Chancellor Tom George retires.
Kristin Sobolik has been appointed as UMSL's interim chancellor

Kristin Sobolik (center) speaks with students at the University Welcome Center. She will begin serving as UMSL’s interim chancellor on Sept. 1 while maintaining her responsibilities as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. (Photo by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi today announced that, pending approval by the UM Board of Curators in August, he plans to appoint Kristin Sobolik as interim chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The appointment is effective Sept. 1 when UMSL Chancellor Tom George retires. Sobolik currently serves as UMSL’s provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“Dr. Sobolik has served UMSL with distinction and has displayed the type of leadership that is needed during this time,” Choi said. “I have confidence that Dr. Sobolik will continue moving UMSL forward and providing the necessary support to faculty, staff and students as they work toward excellence in research, teaching and service.”

Sobolik’s appointment will be in effect until a new, permanent chancellor is named. Choi plans to meet in the fall with UMSL faculty, staff, alumni and supporters to discuss details of a national search for a permanent chancellor.

George, UMSL chancellor since 2003, announced his retirement in March. He appointed Sobolik UMSL provost in May 2017 and designated her as executive vice chancellor one year later.

“There is great momentum at UMSL,” Sobolik said. “Our student graduation and retention rates are at the top of the nation for urban and metropolitan universities; we have expanded our outreach in the community, and our research enterprise is growing. UMSL’s mission is to transform lives, and I’m honored to be asked to step into this role at a critical time as we expand that mission throughout St. Louis and beyond.”

Sobolik has held leadership positions at the University of Maine, Wright State University and UMSL. During her time at UMSL, Sobolik has led a successful reaccreditation process, initiated an academic review process that will systematically and periodically review programs to ensure the university is responding to student demands and industry needs, launched a curriculum alignment process and introduced six new academic programs.

Sobolik received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from Texas A&M University. As a nationally recognized scholar who helped develop the fields of archaeobiology and paleonutrition, Sobolik has more than 100 scientific publications, books and presentations, including many in top publications such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Current Anthropology, Journal of Field Archaeology and PLOS One. As a professor, she has directed nearly 20 graduate student thesis and dissertation projects and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in several areas, including archaeobiology and interdisciplinary areas.

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