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Paula Allen-Meares

Advisory Board

Paula Allen-Meares

Paula Allen-Meares assumed the duties of Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in January 2009. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, she is an international expert in social work, with emphasis on mental health issues among vulnerable and low-income communities.

Under her leadership as Chancellor at UIC, "Brilliant Futures: The Campaign for the University of Illinois at Chicago" will raise private funds to offer even broader access to academic opportunity through scholarships and fellowships; accelerate the discovery and dissemination of knowledge; enrich the student experience; promote healthy societies in Chicago and around the world; and strengthen and expand UIC’s Great Cities Commitment.

In 1993, Dr. Allen-Meares was appointed Dean of the University of Michigan School of Social Work, ranked No. 1 in the United States for nearly a decade. Her work and that of the faculty focused on the physical and mental health of vulnerable and low-income individuals across life spans.  While she was dean the School’s endowment grew from $1 million to $43 million and externally funded research awards reached more than $100 million. She led the fundraising, building, and relocation of the social work program into a state-of-the-art facility on the U-M campus. She chaired the University’s Health Sciences Council and was a founding dean of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender Advisory Committee.

Dr. Allen-Meares is author or co-author of more than 100 publications and articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and publications. Her research interests include the functions of social workers in educational settings; psychopathology in children, adolescents, and families; adolescent sexuality; and premature parenthood. Major themes in her research include improving the health and mental health of poor children and adolescents of color and the strengths of African-American parents and communities. Her research is cited around the world; her theoretical model on school social work for at-risk youth has been used in South Africa, South Korea, Australia, China, and Europe. Her project work has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Skillman Foundation.

Dr. Allen-Meares served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the William T. Grant Foundation from 1999 to 2008. She is a New York Academy of Medicine Trustee and Fellow. She was a founding member of the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. She was inducted as a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2005 and serves on its Membership Committee and as Vice Chair of Section X.

After receiving her bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Allen-Meares also received the Management Institute Certificate from Harvard University; completed the Executive Development Center’s Senior Administrator Seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Commerce and Business Administration; and received the Management of Managers Certificate from the University of Michigan School of Business Administration.