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Hanlon named Dartmouth College's next president

Dartmouth College
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By Rayza Goldsmith, Daily News Editor
Published November 29, 2012

University Provost Philip Hanlon will become the 18th president of Dartmouth College, succeeding former President Jim Yong Kim who left the position in April to serve as president of the World Bank.

Hanlon was elected president by a unanimous vote of Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday, though an official announcement was not made until Thursday. Hanlon, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the college in 1977, will assume the presidency on July 1, 2013. Hanlon will replace Carol Folt, who has served as interim college president since Kim stepped down in April. She will return to her role as provost on June 30, 2013.

Hanlon said in an interview with The Michigan Daily he is thrilled to indulge his passion for undergraduate education at Dartmouth.

“It’s a very great opportunity,” Hanlon said. “Dartmouth is ranked in the top 10 in U.S. News (and World Report rankings), it’s ranked number one in undergraduate education by U.S. News. It is my alma mater, it’s an Ivy League institution, and it’s a terrific opportunity.”

Nevertheless, Hanlon said he’ll be sad to leave the University, where he has been a faculty member since 1986.

“I love the University of Michigan,” Hanlon said. “I have the greatest admiration for the place, I admire what it aspires to, I admire the success it has ... The people here at the University of Michigan are terrific and I’ll miss them very much.”

Hanlon said he is still unsure whether or not he will take time off before beginning his new position.

Dartmouth’s presidential search committee had planned on making a decision by the end of the calendar year, with the intention of having their selection assume the position on July 1, 2013.

In early November, Dartmouth faculty members told The Dartmouth, the college’s student newspaper, the next president would need to be someone who would not only emphasize academia to a greater degree than former presidents, but also someone who’s willing to address some of the problems plaguing the campus social scene.

Some expressed disappointment with Kim’s lack of willingness to address the more negative aspects of the school’s social scene. Some blamed the Greek system, in part, for the binge drinking, sexual assault and hazing that are reportedly common on Dartmouth’s campus, but all agree that the previous two presidents have not done an adequate job of addressing these problems.

Dartmouth English Prof. Ivy Schweitzer told The Dartmouth that the next president must be willing to encourage faculty to address the campus social scene.

“We have this kind of negative legacy from Kim about bystanders and the idea that we can’t do anything about it and can’t change the culture,” she said. “The president will have to deal with that because it just has to be changed on campus.”

Faculty also spoke to a desire for a president who would emphasize academia in a way previous presidents have not.

“I think Kim left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths about the corporatization of the institution,” Schweitzer said. “We seem to pay more attention to how the endowment is doing, how comparable our salaries are.”

This sentiment was reinforced in an e-mail sent to Dartmouth students on Thursday by Stephen Mandel, the chair of Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees, announcing the board’s selection of Hanlon for the presidency.

“Phil’s impressive experience as provost of the University of Michigan — with 95 departments in the top 10 nationally and $1.27 billion in annual research spending, second among all universities — means that Dartmouth will be in very capable hands,” Mandel wrote in the e-mail.