Meet Dartmouth College’s 19th president

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT
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HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) - Dartmouth College’s new president has been on the job for exactly three months and her presence on campus already represents a big change for the Big Green.

In its 254-year history, Dartmouth has never had a woman serve as president -- until now.

“Everything about me, being a woman, contributes to how I lead,” said Sian Beilock, who started her job as Dartmouth’s 19th president back in June and says she brings a fresh perspective to campus. “How I think about cooperation, how I bring tools from being a mother to what I do.”

And she says students these days have a lot on their plates. “College students are entering a world where there is a lot that is broken. Whether it’s the challenges faced by our political system, climate change, social and political unrest,” she said.

Before the Big Green, Beilock was president of Barnard College at Columbia University in New York. Her immediate priority has been a “listening tour” to get to know the campus and build connections with students and faculty. “We know that from research, that when you can get that input, when you hear different views, the outcomes are better,” she said.

The community had a chance to listen to Beilcock Tuesday during a live online broadcast called “Connect with the CEO,” hosted by another prominent female president in the region, Dartmouth Health’s CEO Dr. Joanne Conroy.

“We are talking about things that a lot of traditional leaders haven’t wanted to talk about. When was the last time you heard a male leader talk about child care?” Conroy said. She says Beilock’s presidency at the college represents a wealth of leadership that in the past has gone untapped. “My impression with her is she is 150% all in, to help solve problems, to improve the lives of faculty and students, and make a real impact on the community.”

One problem, Beilock says, is a crisis around mental health and wellness. With a background in cognitive science, she says in order to address it in on campus, students must first understand how they can have an impact. “That is what we are doing. We are training them to think. Learn how to think, not what to think, but learn how to think so that they can tackle some of these issues,” she said.

Beilock will be officially inaugurated on September 22nd.

Coming up on the Channel 3 News Wednesday, Reporter Adam Sullivan will have more with both presidents about the partnerships they are forging to meet the health care needs of students and the surrounding community.

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