Nancy Allen joined the Provost's office as Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity and Faculty Development in July 2005 after completing three years as the elected chair of the Academic Council at Duke University. She became Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Faculty Development in July 2006. She chairs the Faculty Diversity Standing Committee (FDSC), coordinates training sessions for department chairs and center directors in best practices related to hiring, mentoring and faculty development, and serves as the liaison from the provost's office in areas of faculty diversity and faculty development. Some specific tasks include: reviewing faculty climate survey results (2005 and 2010); reviewing mentoring strategies for junior faculty; clarifying, improving, and/or creating policies for all faculty related to tenure clock, parental leave, flexible work arrangements; evaluating exit interviews; coordinating policy review and program development with counterparts in the School of Medicine; working on diversity issues relevant to Duke's strategic plans; coordinating the Hertha Sponer Presidential Lectureship which brings prominent women scientists to campus. She also proposed and served as principal investigator for Duke University's Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award for faculty career flexibility (2006-08).
Allen received her BA in Biology from Wellesley College in 1974, and her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1978. She came to Duke in 1978 for her residency in internal medicine. After she completed this, she did a fellowship in Rheumatology, and joined the faculty in the Department of Medicine in 1982. She continues to care for patients at Duke, at outreach clinics in Roxboro and Oxford, NC, participates in clinical research primarily in the area of vasculitis, and enjoys teaching medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues. She has long been interested in faculty governance and in diversity issues, serving on numerous committees at the department, medical center and university levels. Allen is a fellow in the American College of Rheumatology. She has received a number of awards, including the Eugene A. Stead, Jr. Award for excellence in teaching from the housestaff at Duke (1986), Distinguished Faculty Award from the Duke University Medical Alumni Association (1996), and the Leonard Palumbo Jr. Faculty Achievement Award from the Duke University School of Medicine (2004) for excellence in clinical care, teaching and mentoring of young physicians.