Chancellor's right-hand man heads higher ed group
March 26, 2012By Alison Lee Satake
University of North Carolina Wilmington chief of staff Max Allen was appointed chairman of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE) this month at the American Council on Education conference in Los Angeles.
Allen served as chief of staff to former Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo for 15 years both at Georgia College and State University and at UNCW, until she retired last year. He continued as chief of staff for new UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller. Allen has been a member of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education for 15 years.
“I think the best thing I’ve gained from it is learning what has worked best at institutions especially dealing with presidents and chancellors,” he said.
Some of those lessons include adapting to different leadership styles, mastering time management and making sure the chancellor is striking a balance between internal and external relationship-building, he said.
“A campus is like any other business or organization; there are a lot of things that happen on a college campus. As a new person coming in, knowing how it works and being able to communicate it is integral to a chancellor or president’s ability to succeed there,” he said.
About working with Chancellor Miller, Allen said, “We get along very well. We communicate on a daily basis. I think as a new chancellor coming in, he has really adapted well as the chief executive officer and brings excitement and vision and innovation to UNCW.”
Allen has served on the board of directors for the association that has about 500 members from public and private institutions across the U.S. and Canada for about five years.
He will lead the association’s two board meetings this year and will attend the next conference in Washington, D.C. About 80 new members recently joined NAPAHE. One of his goals as chairman this year is to be accessible as a mentor to his colleagues, he said.