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La Salle News

February 1, 2022

La Salle University selects Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., as next president

Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D.

The Board of Trustees confirmed Allen, a senior vice president at DePaul University, as La Salle’s 30th President.

La Salle University has selected Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., a senior vice president at DePaul University, as its 30th President following a vote by the University’s Board of Trustees. He will assume the presidency on April 18.

The selection of La Salle’s President-elect follows a nine-month nationwide search led by the University’s 21-member Presidential Search Committee, with professional support from executive search firm partner AGB Search.

Allen is the Senior Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations at DePaul University in Chicago, where he has held several senior-leadership roles since joining DePaul in August 2015. Currently, Allen leads and manages development, alumni relations, advancement communications, and community and government relations at DePaul, the largest Catholic university in the United States. There, he oversaw the most successful single fundraising year in the university’s history, raising $93.3 million in the 2021 fiscal year and simultaneously launching a 12-month, $60 million campaign aimed at support for student scholarships, emergency assistance, and mental health and career resources.

Dr. Allen is an extraordinary leader whose talents and experience equip him well to guide La Salle University as our next President. He possesses a deep commitment to high-impact teaching and learning, in full alignment with our university’s mission.

William W. Matthews, III, Esq., ’90
Chair, La Salle University’s Board of Trustees

He also has deep roots in the Lasallian charism and mission, having previously served four years as vice president of advancement at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, which—like La Salle—is one of the six Lasallian colleges and universities in the U.S.

“Dr. Allen is an extraordinary leader whose talents and experience equip him well to guide La Salle University as our next President,” said William W. Matthews, III, Esq., ’90, Chair of La Salle University’s Board of Trustees. “He possesses a deep commitment to high-impact teaching and learning, in full alignment with our university’s mission. More importantly, he is positioned to shape La Salle’s promising future by addressing our current needs and supporting our students on their paths toward transformational personal and professional outcomes. I have every confidence, as does the Board of Trustees, that Dr. Allen will build upon our impressive foundation and elevate La Salle to significant new heights.”

Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D.“I am honored and humbled by the Board’s selection, and I am ready to lead La Salle University,” said Dr. Allen. “As I moved through this process, it became clear to me that La Salle students embark on their lives and careers with a real-world readiness. Their degree has a return on investment that is among the nation’s strongest, and that is a testament to an excellent and vibrant faculty. These have been hallmarks of this history-rich, mission-oriented university for nearly 160 years. I look forward to working with the La Salle community to chart the path forward for the next chapter of the university’s future.”

DePaul and La Salle, as Catholic universities located in high-population urban and competitive higher education marketplaces, also share demographic similarities in the student bodies they serve. Among La Salle’s undergraduate population, 42% identify as students of color, 37% are eligible for federal Pell Grants, 28% are the first in their families to attend college, and 96% receive financial aid of some kind.

“In his service to DePaul’s student body, which is strikingly similar to ours, as well as his familiarity with the Lasallian mission and demonstrated commitment to cultivating principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, we concluded that Dr. Allen was an ideal candidate to lead La Salle University into its important next chapter,” said AmyLynn Flood ’95, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

For more than 20 years, Allen has worked in Catholic higher education. Between his tenures at Lewis and DePaul universities, he led large-gift and capital campaigns as senior associate dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

A product of Catholic education, he completed his doctoral studies at Loyola University-Chicago, earning a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in higher education. His doctoral dissertation and research interests centered on access to higher education for first-generation students, students of color, and low-income students. He received his Master of Arts in physical education and Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Loras College, a Catholic institution located in Dubuque, Iowa.

Allen arrives at La Salle as the University is ascending. A few examples of La Salle’s upward momentum:

  • Innovation: The University recently launched the La Salle Early Achievement Program, or LEAP—a dual-enrollment initiative aimed at reducing potential student debt, improving Philadelphia’s college enrollment rate, and creating transformational professional and personal outcomes for high-performing Philadelphia high school students.
  • Fundraising: In the most-recent fiscal year, La Salle generated gifts from nearly 4,500 unique alumni donors, a five-year high, while establishing the University’s single-day fundraising record during its 2021 Day of Giving.
  • Athletics: No Division I university achieved a better Graduation Success Rate than La Salle’s score of 99 in the NCAA’s most-recent report, tying the University with Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Holy Cross, Lafayette, and Yale. In competition, the men’s cross-country team won the conference championship for the 11th time in 22 years—more than any team in Atlantic 10 Conference history.

Allen succeeds Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D., who served as La Salle’s President from July 2015–June 2021. Upon Allen’s arrival, as of April 18, the University’s Interim President, Timothy O’Shaughnessy, ’85, will serve on Executive Cabinet and provide vital transition support.

“As an alumnus, I care deeply about our school, its mission, and its core values,” O’Shaughnessy said. “I am delighted by the Board of Trustees’ confirmation of Dan Allen as La Salle University’s next president. Knowing Dr. Allen’s commitment to our Lasallian values and principles, I am confident in his ability to lead La Salle into the future.”

“I’m excited to have Dr. Allen as our next President,” said associate professor and co-chair of marketing Swee-Lim Chia, Ph.D., Vice Chair of La Salle’s Presidential Search Committee. He is committed to faculty leadership and shared governance. I can’t wait for the larger community at La Salle, especially my faculty and staff colleagues, to meet him and to hear his plans to bring the necessary resources to support our mission and academic priorities in continuing our legacy for delivering a transformative education for our students and their families.”


Learn more about Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., President-elect of La Salle University.


About La Salle University

Established in 1863, La Salle University is a comprehensive Catholic university rooted in the tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools teaching order, which was founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers. Known as an academic community of excellence shaped by Catholic and Lasallian values, La Salle remains steadfast in the pursuit of its mission of faith, service, community, and social justice. La Salle is consistently recognized for its delivery of a holistic and practical education that produces strong outcomes. The University ranks among the top-4 percent nationally in 10-year earnings, top-7 percent in lifetime return on investment, and top-10 percent in the lowest debt incurred by its graduates, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, and The Princeton Review have cited La Salle on national lists highlighting the nation’s best colleges and universities and the country’s best value institutions. Explore more at lasalle.edu.