November 21, 2011

Allen named associate provost-academic programs

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- James S. Allen, director of Assessment and Program Review at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will become associate provost for academic programs at the University effective Dec. 1.

Allen, a professor in history with a cross-appointment in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, came to SIU Carbondale in 1991. He was self-study coordinator and chair for the University’s recent institutional re-accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  Allen’s other positions at the University during this time include director of University Core Curriculum, interim director of the University Honors Program, and interim director of Assessment.  He also served one year as Faculty Senate president.

“Dr. Allen is highly respected throughout the campus for his commitment to providing our students with a superior academic experience and for his leadership skills,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.  “He is passionate about moving our University forward, and I look forward to the many positive contributions he will make in his new role.”

Allen was one of four candidates for the position in an internal search.  The position, formerly associate provost for academic affairs, has been vacant the last couple of years.

The position focuses on the University’s academic programs and their quality, said John W. Nicklow, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. 

The position includes oversight and management for all undergraduate academic and curricular matters, including new program and degree requests, and coordination with the Graduate School dean for all graduate and curricular matters, including program expansions, new programs, and degree requests.

Among his other duties, Allen will oversee internal and external academic program reviews and accreditations, accreditation of colleges, programs and certificates, and addition, modification, and elimination of courses, fees and programs.  Allen will also serve as liaison to the Faculty Senate and Graduate Council on program reviews, modifications and eliminations, in addition to overseeing student academic appeals.            

“I am extremely impressed with Jim’s demonstrated experience and skill in assessment, program review, handling student appeals, and knowledge of accreditation at multiple levels,” Nicklow said.  “These are exactly the qualities that will allow him to excel in this position. Jim has also been well respected across campus as a consultant for program quality and assessment and as a resource person for developing courses and programs. Jim truly brings a wealth of knowledge and strong commitment to the table; I’m excited about our future.”

Allen said the appointment brings “delight, hope and humility.”

“The delight comes from the many colleagues I can help in their degree programs,” he said.  “The hope comes in how I might make SIU Carbondale a better place to work and learn. And the humility comes from the exceptional people I will work with in the years ahead -- the talented faculty across campus, yes, but also the extraordinary staff in my office.”

Allen said his “first and foremost goal” is overseeing improvement of the many degree programs the University offers students.

“For that, assessment is key,” he said.  “As long as we know what our graduates can do, we will build on those program strengths and fix what we can do better to make student learning fuller and deeper.”

Allen said he sought the position as a way to repay the generosity that SIU Carbondale has shown him and his wife since their arrival in 1991.  The position allows him to serve others on campus, he said.

“The potential is everywhere, wherever our students are learning.  It’s what makes SIU Carbondale such a fine institution,” he said.

Allen’s wife, Anne Winston-Allen, is chair of the University’s Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures.

Prior to coming to SIU Carbondale, Allen was on the faculty and later acting chair in the division of history, religion and philosophy at Phillips University.  A historian of modern European society and culture, Allen earned his doctoral degree in modern European history from Tufts University, where he also earned his master’s degree.  Allen earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University.