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Dartmouth Names Michigan Provost Hanlon as President

November 29, 2012

Dartmouth College named Philip J. Hanlon, provost of the University of Michigan, as president, replacing Jim Yong Kim who left the Ivy League school in July to lead the World Bank.

Hanlon, 57, who earned an undergraduate degree at Dartmouth, will begin on July 1, the Hanover, New Hampshire- based school said today in a statement. A mathematician, he has a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology and has been at Michigan, in Ann Arbor, since 1986.

With Kim’s departure, and the announced retirements of Shirley Tilghman at Princeton University and Richard C. Levin at Yale University, three of the most prestigious jobs in higher education had been open at the same time. Earlier this month, Yale named its provost Peter Salovey as president. Unlike Kim, who had no affiliation to Dartmouth, Hanlon knows the school as an alumnus. He brings a “great love,” Steve Mandel, chairman of Dartmouth’s board of trustees, said in the statement.

“All of us are inspired by the exceptional qualities he will bring to the presidency as a world-class academic, an accomplished administrative leader, and a passionate scholar- teacher,” said Mandel, who graduated in the class behind Hanlon.

Carol Folt, who has served as interim president, will stay in the role through June 30, when she will return to her previous post as Provost, Dartmouth said.

Lifelong Bonds

Hanlon, a member of the class of 1977, said Dartmouth is the place where he “grew up and forged lifelong friendship and bonds” and gave him the “confidence to pursue his academic dreams.”

Raised in the mining community of Gouverneur in upstate New York, Hanlon becomes the 10th Dartmouth alumnus to serve as president, according to the school.

He teaches first-year calculus at Michigan, and plans to stay in the classroom at Dartmouth, based on a belief that “great universities are distinguished by their focus on preparing the next generation of leaders for a lifetime of impact and learning,” Hanlon said in the statement.

He was appointed provost at Michigan in 2010, succeeding Teresa Sullivan, who left to run the University of Virginia. As provost, he was the chief academic officer and also the top officer for the school’s budget. He has held administrative leadership positions for more than a decade there.

As a mathematician, Hanlon focuses on probability and combinatorics, the study of finite structures and their significance as they relate to bioinformatics, computer science, and other fields, Dartmouth said in the statement.

Search Committee

A 16-member search committee spent more than six months in the selection process. Hanlon impressed the group with passion for his alma mater and a vision for how the school can excel, said Diana Taylor, vice chair of the committee and his college classmate.

“Dartmouth is at the heart of Phil’s remarkable life story, one inspired by faculty who challenged and nurtured him because they so loved what they were doing,” Taylor said in the statement.

Dartmouth’s endowment was valued at $3.49 billion as of June 30. Its 5.8 percent return on investments led the eight- member Ivy League. It is the smallest member, with almost 6,150 students, according to the most recent enrollment figures.

Almuni of Dartmouth, founded in 1769, include Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and his immediate predecessor, Henry Paulson. Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co., is an alumnus and trustee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janet Lorin in New York

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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