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Vital Signs

Dartmouth names a new president

Philip Hanlon (D'77), who will become the 18th president of Dartmouth, visited campus in January. "I am humbled and thrilled to be asked to be the president of Dartmouth, the place where I grew up and forged lifelong friendships and bonds," Hanlon said.

By Amos Esty

On July 1, Philip Hanlon, Ph.D (D'77), will take office as Dartmouth's 18th president. Hanlon is currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan.

The announcement came in late November, after a six-month search led by Bill Helman (D'80) and Diana Taylor (D'77), who are both members of the College's Board of Trustees. Hanlon succeeds Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., who is now the president of the World Bank. Carol Folt, Ph.D., will continue to serve as interim president until Hanlon's arrival, when she will return to her role as provost.

Hanlon visited campus in January, attending a welcome ceremony in Spaulding Auditorium and meeting with faculty and students. "I'm so excited to be taking on this role," Hanlon told reporters during his visit. "Dartmouth is one of the nation's great institutions of higher education, and it's an institution that's shaped my life in really important ways. To be able to come back and lead this great college and try to make it the best it can possibly be and work with a group of talented people here is just a thrill."

Chip Souba, M.D., Sc.D., M.B.A., the dean of the Geisel School of Medicine, was enthusiastic about the announcement of Hanlon's appointment. "President-elect Hanlon brings to Dartmouth a wealth of experience from a major university with one of the top academic medical centers in the nation," Souba said. "His commitment to team science, interdisciplinary learning, and mentoring students and faculty fits very well with the Geisel 2020 plan."

Alan Green, M.D., the chair of the Department of Psychiatry and a member of the search committee, agreed. "He is perfect for Dartmouth—a son of Dartmouth, who loves to teach; a distinguished mathematician and scholar, who is an accomplished academic administrator; a man who loves Dartmouth and strives for excellence in every sphere," Green said. "His experience at Michigan has given him a deep understanding and appreciation of the key role of a medical school and an academic health system in a modern university."

Preparing our students to be leaders is, in my mind, the most important work that we do at Dartmouth.

Dartmouth College leaders also expressed their strong support for the appointment. "Phil is a world-class academic scholar and an outstanding teacher, committed to the value of a liberal arts education and with experience with highly ranked graduate schools and programs," said Helman, who in addition to being a member of Dartmouth's Board of Trustees is also a member of the Geisel Board of Overseers. "I could not be more excited about Phil's presidency."

"Phil brings a remarkable combination of outstanding scholarship and pedagogy and deep administrative expertise," Folt said. "He has a sophisticated understanding of the higher education landscape and a true appreciation for the immense value of the liberal arts, grounded in his intimate connection to Dartmouth."

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth, Hanlon earned his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. In 1986, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan as an associate professor. He was named full professor in 1990. Hanlon has held a number of administrative posts at Michigan, culminating in his appointment as provost in 2010.

Hanlon is also known for his passion for teaching. "Preparing our students to be leaders is, in my mind, the most important work that we do at Dartmouth," Hanlon said at the welcome ceremony in January. "And I am eager to be part of that work."


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