A New Direction

USD's Andy Allen


The accomplishments of Andrew Allen, PhD — who has been at USD for 33 years, the past four serving as vice president — cannot be overstated.

Of particular note is his leadership in co-chairing the steering committee that developed USD’s new strategic plan, Envisioning 2024. His efforts have been much appreciated, and will doubtless continue in his new leadership role as the vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, a position designed to direct the Envisioning 2024 strategic plan into an operational reality.

“I’m confident that we have helped to shape a vision that will position the university to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university as we look ahead to our 75th anniversary in the year 2024,” says Allen.

Certain key themes have emerged under Allen’s leadership. First and foremost, a commitment to promoting academic excellence across USD’s college, six schools, the University Library, Professional and Continuing Education and academic centers and institutes.

New, innovative deans have been hired for the School of Business, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Allen is also currently overseeing the search for a new dean for the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

A labor of love has been his oversight of the development and implementation of a new core curriculum, which takes effect this fall. “This has been the product of five years of work by faculty and marks the most significant adjustment to our core curriculum since 1986,” says Allen. “It’s a recommitment to the value of a liberal arts education for all undergraduates, regardless of major, preparing students for success in a complex and highly interconnected world.”

Allen played a significant role in the development and construction of USD’s first international facility, located in the heart of Madrid, Spain. There, full-time faculty and staff support USD students in transformational international experiences.

Allen also oversaw the significant expansion and relocation of the Career Development Center to a more prominent, modern and accessible site on USD’s campus. The center’s staff grew from 7 to 17, and developed new programs for our students, including “Torero Treks” to visit prominent companies across the United States.

In collaboration with the Center for Inclusion and Diversity and others, Allen has co-led efforts to increase the diversity of USD’s faculty and to make USD a more welcoming and inclusive campus for its students. These efforts include innovative approaches to hiring tenure-track and post-doctoral faculty as well as the creation of the Black Student Resource Center.

Additionally, Allen nurtured emerging connections between USD and its new affiliate, the Franciscan School of Theology.

Under his leadership, USD’s Information Technology Services; the Changemaker Hub; the Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action; University Galleries; the Humanities Center; the International Center and the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture have developed new programs and services, which benefit USD’s community.

“I am enormously grateful to Andy Allen for his extraordinary service to USD as vice president and provost,” says USD President James T. Harris III, DEd.

“Our mission and vision, grounded in our rich Catholic intellectual tradition, offers our students a unique experience that prepares them for success in the 21st century,” says Allen. “We nurture both faculty and students by our culture of intellectual inquiry and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Gail F. Baker, PhD, a distinguished leader with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, has been appointed USD’s next provost and vice president of academic affairs. She will begin her leadership role at USD in July.

“Gail’s unique combination of administrative and academic experience has prepared her well to transition to an academic leadership role at the University of San Diego,” says President Harris. “We are very much looking forward to this next chapter in the life of the university.” — Julene Snyder

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