Philip J. Hanlon ’77 became the 18th president of Dartmouth College on June 10, 2013. He is the 10th Dartmouth alumnus to serve as its president and the first since the 1981 to 1987 tenure of David T. McLaughlin ’54, Tuck ’55. President Hanlon, 60, formerly the Donald J. Lewis Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. An accomplished academic and administrative leader, Hanlon served in a succession of administrative leadership roles at Michigan for more than a decade, most recently as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. He had been a member of the faculty there since 1986.
Hanlon has earned numerous honors and awards for his mathematical research, including a Sloan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Henry Russel Award, and the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and held an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, the University of Michigan’s highest recognition of faculty whose commitment to undergraduate teaching has had a demonstrable impact on the intellectual development and lives of their students.
Hanlon is married to Gail Gentes, who joined Dartmouth as the director of action-based learning programs. The couple has three children, all in their 20s.
Hanlon brings to Dartmouth more than a decade of successful leadership experience at a leading U.S. academic institution. Appointed provost of the University of Michigan in 2010, Hanlon was the chief academic officer and chief budgetary officer of the university and was responsible for sustaining its academic excellence in teaching, research, and creative endeavors.
Previously, he served as associate dean for planning and finance in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts from 2001 to 2004, and as vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs from 2004 to 2010, when he was instrumental in putting in place measures to ensure that higher education remains affordable. As vice provost, he also led campus initiatives on multidisciplinary learning and team teaching at the undergraduate level and established new policies and processes designed to make more effective use of space and facilities.
Throughout his career, Hanlon has proven himself to be a passionate scholar-teacher. As provost, he continued to teach first-year calculus at Michigan. He also founded the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, a thriving summer program for high school students with a strong interest in these fields.
After graduating from Dartmouth in 1977, Hanlon went on to obtain a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1981. He was an instructor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bantrell Fellow in Mathematics at Caltech before joining the University of Michigan in 1986 with a tenured position as an associate professor. He was named a full professor in 1990.
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. He is an expert on topics such as computational genetics and cryptology and built a world-class combinatorics group at Michigan, which consistently ranks among the top five in the nation. He is the author or co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles and studies that have been published in leading mathematics journals.
Hanlon has also held visiting positions at prestigious academic institutions in Europe and the United States, including the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University and the University of Oxford, both in England; the Mittag-Leffler Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques and the University of Strasbourg, both in France; and the Princeton Center for Communications Research.
Last Updated: 4/13/15