Skip to main content

Interim Chancellor



Dr. Kristin Sobolik serves as Interim Chancellor in addition to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Professor of Anthropology. In this role, she collaborates with the leadership team, faculty and staff to advance students’ aspirations and prepare them to meet the real world challenges of the 21st century. She is responsible for the academic mission of the university, working with the colleges, deans and faculty on curricular development, innovation and student success.  She oversees research and graduate studies, enrollment management, student retention, community engagement, student affairs, athletics, international programs, university accreditation and strategic planning. Sobolik’s focus is on maintaining and building UMSL’s areas of growth, strength and excellence to serve our student population and develop the workforce and civically minded citizens of the broader St. Louis region. She oversees university advancement, alumni engagement, marketing and communications to promote and support our students and UMSL’s crucial role in our city, region and state.

Prior to coming to UMSL, Sobolik was the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where she helped bring to fruition the modernization and expansion of the Creative Arts Center that includes the Robert and Elaine Stein Art Galleries, new School of Music studios, and the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures. She guided the development of an area of excellence in Policy with the re-envisioned Applied Policy Research Institute (APRI) and the merger of the departments of Political Science and Urban Affairs & Geography into the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Sobolik envisioned and implemented the New Media Incubator as shared think tank space between communication and motion pictures, and developed the Center for Liberal Arts Student Success (CLASS) that focuses on student retention and workforce development. She was a strong partner in Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University, and helped attain and maintain CoLA’s $20M in donor gifts for scholarships, capital improvements, and programing. Sobolik was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for making significant contributions in STEAM fields and giving hope and inspiration to girls through achievements and passion for the community. 

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Sobolik is a leader in and helped develop the fields of archaeobiology and paleonutrition with over 100 publications, books, and presentations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa and a master's and doctorate in anthropology from Texas A&M University. Prior to her service at UMSL and Wright State, Sobolik was Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change at the University of Maine, with continuing Faculty Associate appointments in the Department of Anthropology and in the Climate Change Institute. She served as Associate Dean for Research and External Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of the university’s world-renowned Climate Change Institute. She initiated and helped develop the B.A in Human Dimensions of Climate Change and the Ph.D. in Anthropology and Environmental Policy, obtaining student support as co-PI through a National Science Foundation IGERT grant on Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change (A2C2). Sobolik initiated, developed, and implemented the Maine Heritage Initiative that evolved into the University of Maine Humanities Initiative and now the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center to support humanities-based units, programming, and scholarship.


In the News

Gazelle Magazine
The Influence List 2019: 20 People to Know
September 6, 2019

University of Missouri System
Interim chancellor appointed at the University of MissouriSt. Louis
July 17, 2019

St. Louis Business Journal
Life in Balance: Kristin Sobolik clears her head with a daily walk, frequent train trips
July 5, 2019

UMSL Daily
Higher Learning Commission reaffirms UMSL accreditation for the next 10 years
January 22, 2019

The Chronicle of Higher Education
These Campus Leaders Spent the Fall Taking a Racial-Equity Course. Here’s What They Learned.
December 13, 2018

St. Louis Public Radio
UMSL embarks on 5-year strategic plan, emerges from budget struggles
October 3, 2018

UMSL Daily
New strategic plan wins approval from Curators of the University of Missouri
September 21, 2018

UMSL Daily
UMSL’s Community Innovation and Action Center aims to foster collective efforts to meet challenges in St. Louis
September 12, 2018

UMSL Daily
Less debt, clear path to graduation primary goal of new UMSL initiative
April 19, 2018