Dr. Nicole Allbee named chief of staff at medical school

Nicole Allbee, PhD
Nicole Allbee, PhD

The medical school’s new chief of staff is a woman with a passion for helping and connecting people so institutions run as effectively as possible.

Nicole Allbee, PhD, joined WMed in the newly-created role just before Memorial Day. Prior to joining WMed, Dr. Allbee was Western Michigan University’s Director of Student Conduct, serving as the institution’s chief conduct officer and supervising the department’s professional and administrative staff. 

As Chief of Staff at the medical school, Dr. Allbee serves as a member of the senior leadership team and collaborates with other senior leaders to monitor, implement, and evaluate complex initiatives. She advises the dean on internal and external matters important to the medical school. She serves as the liaison and administrative support to the board of directors, oversees the Office of the Dean personnel and ensures efficient management of the day-to-day affairs of the dean. She also oversees key institutional processes, strategic initiatives, and special projects.

She earned a PhD in educational leadership and a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs leadership from WMU. She’s an alumna of Grand Valley State University, having earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the institution. 

Dr. Allbee said she had WMed in her sights after recognizing the opportunities the medical school offered for its employees and Southwest Michigan. She said she always has had an interest in helping others and through her studies, has focused on how to help higher education institutions run as best as possible.

“When I saw the chief of staff role, it felt like the perfect job for me,” Dr. Allbee said of her new position. “It was all of the things I like to do and I’m skilled at rolled into one position – being of counsel to the dean and helping coordinate behind the scenes. Bringing folks together and letting them do great work is my function.”

In interviewing for the role in which she works very closely with Dr. Paula Termuhlen, the medical school’s dean, Dr. Allbee said what struck her the most is that both women have “win-win” management styles – they both try to find outcomes that benefit all parties.

“That’s not everybody’s style, especially when you’re talking about high-level executives,” Dr. Allbee said. “To have the opportunity to be on an executive team with some amazing, intelligent people and have that be led by another win-win person stood out to me. I was thinking about how I could help her navigate that and help foster that environment here at WMed.”

Since starting her new position in May, Dr. Allbee has been on a listening tour – meeting with members of WMed’s senior leadership team and other faculty and staff to understand key roles within the organization. She invites anyone who wants to meet with her to do so.

“I've been describing it like a fire hose of information in a very good way,” Dr. Allbee said. “I would love for folks to share with me what challenges they are facing and what they want to see continue. That’s what helps me advise the dean and fulfill my role of helping the institution run well.”

Dr. Allbee is married, and she and her wife Heather have five-year-old twin daughters and a 2-year-old daughter. They enjoy spending time outside during Michigan summers.