Philip Hanlon is returning home to his alma mater.
"It's been almost 40 years since I first stepped foot on this campus," he said.
The 1977 graduate of Dartmouth College has been elected to serve as its 18th president. He comes back to the Ivy League school from the University of Michigan, where he served as provost, vice president of academic affairs and a mathematics professor.
"With a remarkable record of scholarship and research combined with leadership expertise and a profound commitment to teaching, he was truly everything we were looking for in a new president," said Steve Mandel, a trustee at Dartmouth.
Mandel introduced Hanlon at an informal welcome ceremony on campus. Hanlon talked about higher education's current upheaval and transformation. He vowed to strengthen Dartmouth's liberal arts program while investing in its research initiatives. A combination he believes better prepares students to face today's challenges.
"We expect our graduates to be leaders who will not only engage in civil discourse and debate, but actually shape that debate and point the way forward," Hanlon said.
Hanlon will take office July 1. He succeeds Jim Yong Kim who was selected last April to serve as president of the World Bank.
"He was a visionary," Hanlon said. "He really excited the campus released a lot of creative energy on this campus and I want to continue his work."
During a news conference Friday, Hanlon told the media he will not tolerate high-risk behavior like binge drinking, hazing or sexual assaults on campus, issues Dartmouth has battled over the last year. He's also working to get a better handle on the school's finances and says the University of Michigan was able to slash expenditures by revamping benefits and investing in an energy-efficient campus. He wants to do the same at Dartmouth, but didn't provide details. What he's most excited about is returning to the classroom.
"I love teaching," he said. "I think it's the most important work we do at any college or university."
Hanlon will be the 10th alumnus to serve as Dartmouth's president and his colleagues couldn't be more proud.
"Our campus has set its sights on the future and I think we are in wonderful, capable hands," said Carol Folt, the interim president.
Folt will continue her post as Dartmouth interim president through June 30.
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