Meredith College President Jo Allen has been elected vice chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).
NAICU Board members set the association’s agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourage support of association priorities and initiatives; and oversee the organization’s financial administration.
Jo Allen, Ph.D., took office as Meredith’s eighth president on July 1, 2011. She is the first alumna to assume leadership of the 126-year-old institution, one of the largest private colleges for women in the United States.
Since taking office, Allen has guided Meredith to an enviable position of strength and vitality following the comprehensive strategic plan, Meredith Forever. In the five years since the rolling plan was put in place, Meredith has exceeded enrollment and retention goals; raised more than $66 million in the Beyond Strong, its largest fundraising campaign ever; and established StrongPoints®, the College’s signature coaching and personal advising program.
Prior to her return to Meredith, Allen served as senior vice president, provost, and professor of English at Widener University (Penn.). She also served as tenured associate professor of English at East Carolina University and tenured associate professor at North Carolina State University. In addition to her duties as a faculty member, Allen served in a number of leadership positions at the universities where she taught, including special assistant to the dean and vice chancellor, as assistant dean and interim vice provost. A North Carolina native, Allen earned a master’s degree from East Carolina University and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in English literature, with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Communication. Her B.A. from Meredith was also in English.
Allen has made numerous contributions to the advancement of higher education. She has been the featured speaker and facilitator at numerous professional development programs and served as president of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, the largest international scholarly organization for technical and professional communication scholars. She currently serves on the board of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges, and previously served as a commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and a site reviewer for the American Bar Association.
Allen has published and presented in more than 200 regional, national, and international scholarly venues, focusing on communication, assessment, and leadership in higher education. Books written or edited by Allen include Writing in the Workplace and Assessment in Technical and Professional Communication, which won both the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication’s 2010 award for best contribution to the work of program assessment and a national award from the College Composition and Communications Conference. Allen also has been a reviewer for scholarly journals and has co-edited several special journal issues of Technical Communication Quarterly.
In addition to NAICU, she currently serves on the Executive Board of the North Carolina Campus Compact and is the Treasurer of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).
NAICU serves as the unified national voice of private nonprofit higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of independent higher education in the United States. Since 1976, the association has represented private nonprofit colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. Our member institutions include major research universities, church-related colleges, historically black colleges, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.