- J.D., University of Chicago Law School
- M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Collens has been a member of the faculty since 1970 and served as dean of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law from 1974–90. Under his leadership, the law school became widely known for its innovative programs, distinguished faculty and outstanding student body. He received his law degree in 1966 from the University of Chicago, where he served on the University of Chicago Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois. He served as president of Illinois Institute of Technology from 1990 to 2007.
Professor Collens is a director of AMSTED Industries Incorporated; Dean Foods Company; Alion Science & Technology; The Colson Group; All Cell Technologies; The Chicago Council of Science & Technology and The Civic Consulting Alliance. He also serves on the Advisory Committee of The Partnership for New Communities.