Biography

Jim AllenJim Allen first served as Vice President for Academic Affairs of the SIU system for two years (2015-17) before returning to the position in 2019. Prior to his work as SIU’s senior academic officer, he was Associate Provost for Academic Programs for five years (2011-16), Director of the University Core Curriculum for twelve years (1999-2010), and a professor of history for more than 28 years on the SIU Carbondale campus (1991-2019). Whatever the job, Dr. Allen focused on ensuring the quality of student learning.

Among Dr. Allen’s proudest moments as an academic leader includes coordinating SIU Carbondale’s successful re-accreditation in 2010 with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the agency responsible for its 1,200 member-institutions adhering to best practices in higher education. He has also received more than $1.3 million in competitive grants from the US Department of Education (FIPSE), the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the American Bar Association, among other public and private funding agencies, for the purpose of strengthening undergraduate teaching and learning. And he took the lead to have SIU Carbondale recognized, once by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its community engagement (in 2014) and again by the American Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities for its innovation in economic and community development (also in 2014).

Meanwhile, Dr. Allen was a well-regarded scholar in the cultural history of modern France. He is the author of seven book-length monographs on the social history of French ideas (in 1981, 1990, 1991), French women’s autobiographical writing (1994, 2000), personal and historical memory (2010), and, most recently, French women in civil society (2019). Along the way, Dr. Allen has published 46 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and essay collections, and reviewed 56 manuscripts of articles and books for publication. In 2006, he was honored by Phi Kappa Phi for his scholarship and in 2008 by his appointment as Vice President for the Society for French Historical Studies.

Dr. Allen earned an AB in comparative literature at Brown University in 1971, an MA and PhD in European history at Tufts University in 1975 and 1979 (respectively), an Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship in French at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship in 1988. He also taught at the University of California, San Diego (1981-82) and Phillips University (1982-91) before moving to SIU Carbondale in 1991.

Not the least of his commitments, Dr. Allen served in the US Naval Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

He is married to Dr. Anne Winston-Allen, Professor Emerita of German at SIU Carbondale, who is an internationally recognized specialist in the cultural history of women religious in the late Middle Ages.