Montclair State University welcomes Mark Allman, a top administrator at Merrimack College, as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, a prestigious leadership development program in higher education.
Allman is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Innovation at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. There, he has been working on several academic initiatives, including a discovery program for undeclared students and new pathways for nontraditional students to complete bachelor’s degrees.
At the conclusion of the 2023-24 fellowship year, Allman will return to Merrimack to bring back to the institution what he has observed of the work of President Jonathan Koppell and other senior officers. He hopes to gain insight into Montclair’s leadership in action, particularly its commitment to access and affordability.
“I’m excited to work closely with Dr. Allman over the next year, as there is so much we will be able to learn from each other at pivotal moments in the histories of both Montclair and Merrimack,” Koppell said. “The future of higher education depends on collaboration between like-minded institutions and the sharing of knowledge to create the best possible outcomes for students, faculty and staff. The ACE fellows program is a fantastic vehicle for that, and we’re thrilled that Dr. Allman has selected Montclair for his fellowship.”
Allman has spent the past 16 years at Merrimack, where he has served as Department Chair, and Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. As Professor of Religious and Theological Studies, his research focuses on Social Ethics, Political Economy, War and Peace, Business Ethics, and Catholic Social Thought. His first book, Who Would Jesus Kill? War, Peace and the Christian Tradition (Anselm Academic 2008), won the College Theology Society Book of the Year Award.
Merrimack has experienced significant growth in recent years. In the 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the college ranked No. 4 for Most Innovative Schools and No. 37 in the Regional Universities North category. In the past five years, undergraduate enrollment has increased approximately 20% (to more than 4,000 students), and graduate enrollment has increased 55% (to more than 1,300 students).
Allman said he sought out the ACE fellowship, in part, to spend time on a diverse campus that has also experienced tremendous growth. This fall, Montclair welcomed another record-breaking incoming class and the largest total enrollment in its 115-year history. More than 50% of all Montclair’s students identify as underrepresented minorities – and the University is one of New Jersey’s two Hispanic-Serving Institutions, graduating more students of color than any other public institution in the state.
“I want to gain experience at an institution that is a place that Meririmack aspires to be in the future,” Allman said. Montclair’s reputation as a comprehensive research university was also an important factor that led him to Montclair. He is also a native of New Jersey, having grown up in Ramsey.
“ACE Fellows acquire career-enriching experience in leadership, innovation and problem-solving, just the kind of skills needed to advance higher education,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “The Fellows Program provides institutions and participants the unique opportunity to grow together, and I am excited to see all that this class of Fellows accomplishes.”
The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutional and leadership capacity in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80% of Fellows serving as senior leaders of colleges and universities.