Anatomy of an Admin: Dean Mark Allen on the “positivity” of his job

Justin Topa, Staff Writer

Dr. Mark Allen is the father of two children, instructs courses and serves Wilkes University as the dean of students.

The dean of students is mainly responsible for serving in an advocacy role and resolving any challenges a student may face in and outside of a classroom setting.

He is also responsible for the departments of Residence Life, Health Services and Counseling, Food Services and Student Development which encompasses student activities, community service, interfaith programs, internships and leadership programs among other things.

“You don’t remain in this position as long as I have if you don’t feel a strong sense of community,” Allen said. “As the dean of students, you need to feel that students are supported and you need to also enjoy working with them. The nature of the students and the positivity that I feel in this position has kept me here this long.”

Aside from this position, Allen, who holds a doctorate in leadership and change theory, stays busy by teaching Wilkes students in business administration at the master’s level and courses centered on leadership offered to undergraduate students.

He says he enjoys visiting his son, who is a professional jazz musician and works at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., and his daughter, an opera performance major, in Washington, D.C.

Allen has been working at Wilkes University since 1986 and says he has seen a lot of change during his time here. He says that he expects more change in the future, as well.

“Higher education is fast-paced and will look a lot different 10 years from now through technology and higher costs for education,” the dean said. “My goal 10 years from now would be to make sure that, within this setting or whatever setting or position I may end up in, I continue to be current with the trends and making sure we are offering the services and programs that are relevant to keeping up with that change.”

The dean of students says that one of the things he is most proud of in regards to his career is his staff.

“My success in this position is extremely dependent on how well my staff performs,” Allen said. “Throughout my career, any successes that I have had are shared with the really good people I am blessed to work with. A large part of my job is to recognize their strengths. I would never want to exclude them.”