There’s a new leader at the helm of Delaware State University.
On Jan. 1, Tony Allen will become the 12th president in the historically Black university’s 128-year history. He succeeds Wilma Mishoe, who announced her retirement in September.
Allen started at DSU in summer of 2017 as executive vice president and provost.
Board of Trustees Chairwoman Devona Williams said that since Allen has “materially strengthened our academic and research enterprise” since he arrived at the nearly 5,000-student university in Dover, Delaware.
“He has a complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities in higher education and particularly what it takes for students at a Historically Black College or University to succeed in academics, in establishing a career and in life,” Williams said in a news release.
“Tony will definitely be a non-traditional president. His strengths in business operations, organizational development and collaboration with stakeholders combine to give our university a transformational leader who will shape its future growth.”
As executive vice president and provost, Allen led the redesign of the university’s academic colleges, the consolidation of academic advising assets under the Office of Student Success, and realigned the priorities of Academic Affairs to make them consistent with the university’s strategic goals and key performance indicators.
Allen was also instrumental in the formation of a Strategic Enrollment Division that for the first time in the institution’s history places all front-end student services in one seamless organization.
He has developed a plan to increase the university’s annual research portfolio from $20 million to $35 million in the next five to seven years, as well as new educational, governmental, community and business partnerships to better position DSU as a leader in the region.
Gov. John Carney, who has known Allen for 25 years, said he is confident that the university board found the right person to lead it at this “exciting time” in its history.
Before he joined DSU, Allen served as managing director of corporate reputation for Bank of America. He has worked for MBNA America Bank in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was an executive vice president.
Allen was a founding president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and has served as a speechwriter and special assistant to Joseph R. Biden Jr., then U.S. Senator for Delaware. He has also been a senior policy fellow for the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration.
Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a doctorate in urban affairs from the University of Delaware. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College of the City University of New York.
Alexa S. Silver, chairwoman of Delaware State University’s Faculty Senate and professor of history and political science, said the faculty is excited about Allen’s ascendancy to president.
“Tony has already distinguished himself as our provost over the past two years and I am sure his enormous energy and vision will move DSU even further forward,” Silver said. “Great things are happening at DSU and it all matters.”