U. of Michigan provost named Dartmouth president

November 29, 2012 - 6:33 PM
Dartmouth President

Dartmouth College released this undated handout photo of Philip Hanlon, a 1977 Dartmouth graduate, who will succeed Jim Yong Kim, as president of Dartmouth College. Yong Kim left in April to become president of the World Bank. Hanlon is the chief academic officer at the University of Michigan and was chosen to be the 18th president of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. (AP Photo/HO/Maryanne Russell)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The provost at the University of Michigan has been chosen as the 18th president of Dartmouth College.

Philip Hanlon will succeed Jim Yong Kim, who left Dartmouth in April to become president of the World Bank. Hanlon earned his bachelor's degree at Dartmouth in 1977, and will be the 10th alumnus to serve as president of the Ivy League school in Hanover, N.H.

"I'm thrilled to be coming home. It's a really terrific place," he said Thursday. "It shaped my life in profound ways."

As provost, Hanlon serves as the chief academic officer at Michigan. A mathematics professor who plans to continue teaching at Dartmouth, he said he appreciates the school's focus on undergraduate teaching.

Hanlon described himself as a good listener who likes to lead by example. While it is too early to describe specific plans or priorities, Hanlon said he expects there will be profound changes in higher education in the next decade. Universities can't transform themselves quickly, he said, and need leaders who can look three or four steps ahead.

"I think people would say I have a great focus on the future," he said.

Hanlon said his broad mission will be furthering what he considers the key role of any great university: preparing the next generation of leaders. It was his time at Dartmouth that convinced him that a broad liberal arts education is the firmest foundation for success, he said.

Hanlon grew up in the small mining town of Gouverneur, N.Y. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1986 and has held administrative leadership positions for more than a decade.

His wife, Gail Gentes, is the director of research and faculty support at the University of Michigan's business school. They have three children, all in their 20s.

A welcome celebration for Hanlon is planned for January. Hanlon will start work July 1 with a formal inauguration in the fall.

Kim, who began his brief tenure as president of Dartmouth in 2009, was the first Asian-American to lead an Ivy League institution.