Biography of Interim President Benjamin Allen
Benjamin J. Allen became interim president of Iowa State University on May 9, 2017.
In May 2013, Dr. Allen retired as president of the University of Northern Iowa, following a seven-year tenure. Under his leadership, UNI increased undergraduate student achievement and provided statewide leadership in pre-K through 12 education, including UNI's lead role in the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership.
During his incumbency, Dr. Allen was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Committee for the National Commission of University Accountability in 2007, and in 2010, he received a Congressional appointment to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). Dr. Allen also served as co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the Iowa Business Council's Education Excellence in Iowa Roundtable, and the Institute for Tomorrow's Workforce
Prior to his tenure at UNI, Dr. Allen held several faculty and administrative positions at Iowa State University. He joined the faculty in 1979, became chair of the department of transportation and logistics in 1984, and was named the first Distinguished Professor in business in 1988. That same year, Dr. Allen and a colleague from the University of Iowa established the Midwest Transportation Center (now InTrans) at Iowa State, which Dr. Allen directed for two years. He was later named interim dean (1994) and dean (1995 to 2001) of the College of Business. He was interim vice president for external affairs from 2001 to 2002, and ultimately served as vice president for academic affairs and provost from 2002 to 2006.
Dr. Allen held prior positions at Washington State University and was a Brookings Economic Policy Fellow in the Office of Transportation Regulatory Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation. He was the Visiting McKinley Professor of Economics and Public Utilities at the University of Illinois from 1986-87 and held the Oren Harris Chair in Transportation at the University of Arkansas during the 1990-91 academic year. In 1999, he was appointed chairperson of the committee for the study of Freight Capacity for the Next Century, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Allen received his doctorate and master's degree in economics from the University of Illinois and his bachelor's of science degree in business economics from Indiana University.