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Laura Rein, former library dean, takes on new role as University Secretary
After 16 years of helping develop Webster University’s Emerson Library, former dean of the library Laura Rein has been selected in a nationwide search for the position of University Secretary.
Rein, who started her new position Aug. 1, said her responsibilities as secretary include authenticating all of the Board of Trustees’ documents, archiving and signing proceedings and providing guidance as the members need it about board governance.
“The scope of the position is much bigger than I can even explain,” Rein said. “I’ve been a librarian for over thirty years, so this is a brand new position for me, but it’s one that I’m very excited about. I’ve always felt I’ve been part of the strategic direction of the university, but I will be obviously more closely involved in that. And that’s very rewarding for me.”
Rein said her main focus is to look out for the best interests of the Board of Trustees.
“I feel like my role is to make their job as a trustee run as smoothly as possible,” Rein said. “These are all very busy individuals. These are very high-level administrators, CEO’s and lawyers; I need to make their job easy. It is a volunteer job for them, and we’re very grateful for it,” Rein said.
Rein said that although she will miss the library, she believes it is in good hands. She said that the acting dean, Eileen Condon, has a long-standing history and knowledge about the library.
“I’m going to miss the people and not seeing them everyday, but I’m just across the street,” Rein said.
Condon said she believes Rein will do well in her new position, and that the library staff is glad she’s close by.
“She’s a great administrator and she knows Webster really well,” Condon said.
Rein said she is also excited about working beside President Elizabeth Stroble and Provost Julian Schuster.
“They are really going to take Webster to the next level,” Rein said. “People always say that Webster is the best kept secret, but that’s going to change.”
Schuster, who was on the committee that selected Rein as University Secretary, said he believes Rein was the best choice.
“In the last two years, there have been a lot of changes, and there is a lot of, I would say, ‘new blood’ coming aboard,” Schuster said. “We needed someone who is going to provide the stability and connection between the new ideas with the tradition that exists at Webster.”