Dr. Maribeth Durst, Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been with the University for 36 years. She joined the University in 1979, and has been impressed with its student-centered teaching environment ever since.
“When I came to Saint Leo for an interview, I was very impressed on how they put their focus on student potential and how they strongly believed in making students succeed.” Dr. Durst said. “What drew me to the University was their emphasis on being a student-centered teaching environment.”
Dr. Durst has always felt a continuous commitment to students, and she has stayed with the University for three decades because she appreciates how this school always maintains its commitment to help students within small classroom sizes.
“We make sure here is only a 25-30 limit for students in each classroom and we make sure that students are noticed and cared for.”
Dr. Durst has held many types of positions over the past 36 years. She’s been a faculty member, department chair, dean, assistant vice president, associate vice president, and vice president.
“The experience of having these positions was very helpful and I enjoyed all of them. I enjoy being Vice President because I enjoy helping faculty members and making their jobs easier.”
In addition to her academic career, Dr. Durst has engaged in professional development, wrote a book about student culture, published articles and scholarly journals, and was President of Florida Academy of Sciences.
When Dr. Durst was asked to tell any interesting stories or memories about the University, she answered that when her son was little he would come to the University after school and he always looked up to the college students. He later attended the University himself and graduated with a marketing degree.
Dr. Durst said that the biggest change since she came to the University has been the size of the campus and the University.
“Through the years there has been a dramatic increase of population of students. There has been an increase in residence halls, in increase in faculty, there is the new classroom building going up now, and there are renovations in the science labs inside Lewis Hall. The University has also expanded in academics. It now offers more master’s degrees and offers a doctor’s degree in business.”
Dr. Durst also mentioned that there has been a remarkable increase in ethnic diversity over the last 35years.
“When Wilt Kurt took charge in identifying the six core values to live by in Saint Leo, I liked seeing the students getting along and truly adhering to the core values.”