Mike Allen, Ph.D.

Barry University President

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Barry University President Mike Allen, Ph.D.

Mike Allen, Ph.D. became the seventh president of Barry University on July 1, 2019. An experienced higher education administrator, Dr. Allen skillfully marshaled the institution through the worst of the global pandemic only months after his arrival, never pausing its forward-moving progress, while laying an impressive framework for the future.

From the outset of his tenure, the institution realized significant achievements including three consecutive academic years of freshman enrollment growth, being listed as one of the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for Social Mobility among National Universities and named one of America’s Top Colleges in 2021 by Forbes. True to Barry’s Adrian Dominican heritage, President Allen has made engagement with and service to the South Florida Community a top priority, through every available avenue.

He has established partnerships with impactful organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, United Way of Miami, Casa Familia, and the Miami Center for Racial Justice; spearheaded the creation of the President’s Community Leadership Council, a body consisting of South Florida leaders in health care, business, law, philanthropy, education and more; and established the Barry University Anti-Racism and Equity Coalition as well as the Institute for Immigration Studies, an academic center dedicated to the study and understanding of the multicultural South Florida immigrant experience.

Dr. Allen came to Barry University from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he served as Vice President for Student Affairs for six years and as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics for eight years. Additionally, he designed and implemented academic support programs for students at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Connecticut between 1993 and 2005.

President Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College, and a Master of Arts and Doctoral degree from the School of Education at the University of Connecticut, where his dissertation and research focused on the academic socialization and personal development of intercollegiate student athletes. He and his wife, Beth, have two children, Maya and James.

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Some of Dr. Allen's major accomplishments include:

  • Coordinating an integrated planning effort that led to the anticipated construction of approximately $90 million in capital facility investments in close conjunction with the launch of an institutional capital campaign. These projects include a new, state-of-the-art dining facility, a new residence hall, and multiple upgrades to athletic and recreation facilities.
  • Leading a collaborative effort with faculty and Enrollment Management, as chair of the University Retention Committee, to significantly bolster student retention from matriculation through graduation.
  • Working collaboratively with University Advancement to secure several multi-million-dollar donations for the support of capital projects and initiatives.
  • Co-leading an effort to assess and modify the existing Strategic Plan to set the course for the university over the next five years.
  • Expanding career development and academic advising support through the creation of a new Center for Academic and Career Success.
  • Launching a new Center for Cultural Engagement in 2016 to support the recruitment and engagement of underrepresented minority students.
  • Initiating the Our Community, My Responsibility campaign in 2014, with the goal of increasing cultural sensitivity and awareness on campus, while emphasizing the importance of civility, kindness, compassion, and personal responsibility as guiding principles.
  • Expanding co-curricular engagement for students through new student orientation and residential programming, faculty and religious in-residence programs, student activities, athletic and recreation programs, and opportunities to embrace Washington, D.C.

History of Barry University The Founding of Barry College

A hurricane lurking in the Atlantic failed to stop Barry College from opening its doors on September 13, 1940. More than 1,000 people visited the campus during the course of that weekend, marking the culmination of a dream long held by three of Barry’s founders – Mother Gerald Barry, OP, and her brothers, Bishop Patrick Barry and Monsignor William Barry. As Superior General of the Adrian Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, Mother Gerald had been making annual visits to the Dominican convents in Florida since 1933 and was quick to notice that Florida had no institution of higher education for Catholic girls.

With the support of her brothers and John Graves Thompson, a young lawyer who later served as the Mayor of Miami Shores Village, the groundbreaking for Barry College for women was held January 2, 1940 on the 40-acre Miami Shores site, and on June 20, 1940 Bishop Barry blessed the first five buildings. Mother Gerald Barry was not only a co-founder of Barry College but in 1940 she also became its first president serving for more than 20 years. Enrollment in the fall of 1940-41 was comprised of 21 freshmen, 16 sophomores and eight juniors. In addition to Florida, students came from Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Barry University Mission Statement

Barry University is a Catholic institution of higher education founded in 1940 by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Grounded in the liberal arts tradition, Barry University is a scholarly community committed to the highest academic standards in undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

In the Catholic intellectual tradition, integration of study, reflection and action inform the intellectual life. Faithful to this tradition, a Barry education and university experience foster individual and communal transformation where learning leads to knowledge and truth, reflection leads to informed action, and a commitment to social justice leads to collaborative service.

Barry University provides opportunities for affirming our Catholic identity, Dominican heritage, and collegiate traditions. Catholic beliefs and values are enriched by ecumenical and interfaith dialog.

Through worship and ritual, we celebrate our religious identity while remaining a University community where all are welcome.

Catholic intellectual and religious traditions guide us in the fulfillment of our mission. The mission and values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters serve as the inspiration for our core commitments.

Core Commitments

  • Knowledge And Truth

    Knowledge and Truth

    Barry promotes and supports the intellectual life, emphasizing life-long learning, growth and development. The University pursues scholarly and critical analysis of fundamental questions of the human experience. In the pursuit of truth, the University advances development of solutions that promote the common good and a more humane and just society.
  • Inclusive

    Inclusive Community

    Barry is a global, inclusive community characterized by interdependence, dignity and equality, compassion and respect for self and others. Embracing a global world view, the University nurtures and values cultural, social and intellectual diversity, and welcomes faculty, staff, and students of all faith traditions.
  • Collaborative Service

    Collaborative Service

    Barry is committed to serving local and global communities through collaborative and mutually productive partnerships. The University accepts responsibility to engage with communities to pursue systemic, self-sustaining solutions to human, social, economic and environmental problems.
  • Social Justice

    Social Justice

    Barry expects all members of our community to accept social responsibility to foster peace and nonviolence, to strive for equality, to recognize the sacredness of Earth, and to engage in meaningful efforts toward social change. The University promotes social justice through teaching, research and service.

President's Society

Founded in 2021, the President’s Society honors those students who combine academics, integrity, maturity, and a well-rounded personality with University-wide awareness, participation, and leadership demonstrated by their significant contributions to the extracurricular life of the University. Members of the Society are considered an integral part of the President’s team and act as volunteer student ambassadors to official functions hosted by the Office of the President.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please call the Office of the President at 305-899-3010 or email at presidentsociety@barry.edu.



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    Members of the Society will be regarded as key contributors in the President’s Office and will be designated special duties at University functions. They will be entitled to wear the official insignia of the Society at all times. Members of the Society shall act as volunteer student ambassadors to official functions hosted by the Office of the President.
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    Acceptance to the President's Society requires a serious commitment from its student members. Members of the President's Society are expected to attend special occasions or events (approximately 10) sponsored by the President, mostly in the evenings and/or weekends and fulfill their duties during the academic year. In addition, each member is required to provide a minimum of two (2) hours per week of volunteer service in the President’s Office or other designated offices as assigned.

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