The Journal Welcomes New Administrator
On April 18, Minnesota native Nancy Hellerud will arrive in St. Louis to take on a brand new position here at Webster University. Under Provost Julian Schuster, Hellerud will assume the role of associate provost to aid Schuster in taking on projects and ideas to benefit the university administration and the school as a whole.
So there’s a new person in a new position on campus — big deal. It happens all the time. But there’s something special, something different, about Webster’s new arrival that has The Journal wondering if academic affairs will begin to recognize and promote students’ and professors’ needs in a new, unexpected light.
Hellerud competes with the best of Webster’s administrators, with an impeccable résumé and prestigious positions in her career.
She began her extensive career as a lawyer, but not as the slick, money-grubbing stereotype you’d expect. She humbly worked in legal aid, helping lower-income families, many who didn’t speak English as a second language. This language barrier prompted Hellerud’s next career move — travel to Costa Rica and take Spanish classes. The only classes available were in teaching Spanish. She signed up, and found her calling.
Back in the States she pursued a career as a professor, teaching at Hamline University, her alma mater. From there, she worked her way up to dean. Now she is associate provost for Webster.
Hellerud said her experience as a professor and as dean really helped to cue her in to both sides. Not only can she relate to and work with the administrators of Webster (which is something her job description requires), but with students and faculty as well. This will ultimately benefit her in future decision-making, project management and especially communications within the university.
Even better, she’s an advocate of Webster’s global citizenship agenda.
“Traveling and working with other cultures has always been interesting to me,” she said. “That’s a huge piece that’s so interesting to me about Webster — the ability for students to study abroad.”
Perhaps the biggest reason we should care about Hellerud’s arrival, dear Webster students, is that she’s most interested in promoting and helping us, our lives and our needs. In Hellerud’s past positions, she’s made it a point to encourage student involvement and support new ideas or projects she’d like to make happen. At Webster, she plans on doing the same.
Hellerud’s role on campus is most certainly something to look forward to, as The Journal expect great things from our new associate provost in the future.