Michael S. Allen, Ph.D., currently vice president for student affairs at The Catholic University of America, has been named the seventh president of Barry University in Miami, Florida.
Allen has served for 6 years in his current role at Catholic University, and the previous 8 years as associate vice president and director of athletics. He will continue in his current role through the end of the academic year. A search for the new vice president of student affairs will begin this spring.
“I am very happy for Mike,” said University President John Garvey. “Barry University will be extraordinarily fortunate to have him as its president. Mike is a talented and energetic leader who has shown great skill in both directing teams and working collaboratively with colleagues to execute many important initiatives on campus. I am personally grateful for all Mike has contributed to Catholic University over the past 14 years. We will really miss him.”
In 2005, Allen joined the University as athletic director. In that role he directed all facets of an intercollegiate athletics program sponsoring 21 varsity sports. He was promoted to associate vice president in 2009.
In 2013, he was named vice president of student affairs. In that role he served as a member of President Garvey’s executive leadership group, providing guidance and recommendations for all matters related to student experience, with close collaboration on enrollment, academics, fund raising, and capital project initiatives.
Allen directed an integrated planning effort that has led to the planned construction of approximately $90 million in capital facility investments in close conjunction with the launch of an institutional comprehensive campaign. These projects are expected to include a new dining facility and residence hall.
He also chaired the University Retention Committee, which led a collaborative effort with faculty and Enrollment Management to significantly bolster student retention from matriculation through graduation. Freshman-to-sophomore and freshman-to-junior retention rates have risen to the highest levels since the University began tracking them in 1991.
For the past few years Allen has co-chaired the University effort preparing for the decennial review of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
“Catholic University has been like a home for me,” Allen said. “I still remember with fondness and appreciation my first meeting with then President of Catholic University, Father David O'Connell, in Nugent Hall when he offered me the athletic director position in 2005. I was blessed for a second time when President Garvey took over several years later. I will be forever grateful to President Garvey for his leadership, mentorship, and the opportunities he has given me to expand the scope of my career path, along with his unconditional support as I pursued this exciting new opportunity.”
“I am equally thankful for the colleagues I have had the privilege of working with over the years,” he said. "While they are far too numerous to name, I have been inspired daily by their talents, ideas, and unwavering commitment to provide our students with the best experience possible. I will miss them dearly.
“It's overwhelming to think of all of the students, many of them now successful alumni, whom I've been privileged to work with. The opportunity to meet them as freshmen, watch them grow into adults during their time with us, and see them go on to live fulfilling lives has been immensely rewarding.”