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Kristin Sobolik

Chancellor

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1963

Industry: Higher Education

Within a few short years, Kristin Sobolik has made a notable impact on the University of Missouri-St. Louis, ushering in growth and strengthening the university’s impact on the community.

“Leaders cannot be afraid to make change and to realign goals as needed for the ultimate success of the organization,” she said. “As a leader, I have not been afraid to do this and to help lead and make necessary changes.”

Sobolik first joined UMSL in 2017 as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was appointed interim chancellor in 2019 and accepted the permanent role in 2020.

As a first-generation Pell-Grant student herself, Sobolik was excited to join the UMSL community and immediately connected to the student population, many of whom had similar backgrounds and faced the same challenges she faced paying for a college education.

Sobolik believes it is imperative to the future of St. Louis to provide access to relevant educational opportunities and then deliver on that promise with high retention and graduation rates leading to productive, attainable jobs. UMSL provides that relevancy while decreasing average student debt at graduation.

She is most proud of serving the UMSL’s diverse student population. UMSL has the nation’s highest retention and graduation rate for its student demographic and is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 75 universities in the nation for social mobility. That is a game changer in the lives of those students, their families and the region.

As the university enters its 60th year serving the St. Louis region, Sobolik is working to establish UMSL as one of the nation’s premier metropolitan universities and anchor institutions, committed to community collaboration and collective problem-solving. During the 2022 Missouri Legislative session, Sobolik helped navigate a capital funding package of $40 million in unprecedented state funding to invest in the university.

She is overseeing an ambitious five-year Campus Master Plan, which includes the consolidation of the university’s academic core to the north campus, clearing the way for a community-centered development that will include a business and workforce development center, the expansion of medical and mental health services, and retail and residential development opportunities.

She has also re-invigorated the Chancellor’s Council, a group of influential university alumni and local and regional business leaders who serve as special advisors to the chancellor and champions of the university.

Her accomplishments on and off campus led the St. Louis Business Journal to recognize her with a Most Influential Business Women award in 2020, the NAACP to award her with the Frankie Muse Freeman/Norman R. Seay Commitment to St. Louis Award in 2022 and the Urban League of Greater St. Louis to award her a Distinguished Women’s Leadership Award in 2022.

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Did you know?

Kristin’s background is in archaeology where she helped develop the fields of Archaeobiology and Paleonutrition. Now as Chancellor, these areas of her brain are a little dusty but she always loves to read up on the latest finds and analyze connections between the past and the present.

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