Philip J. Hanlon '77


Philip J. Hanlon '77 became Dartmouth's 18th president on June 10, 2013. He is the 10th Dartmouth alumnus to serve as its president.

As president, Hanlon has championed academic excellence and encouraged innovation in scholarship and teaching. He has launched initiatives to build interdisciplinary strength around global challenges, expanded opportunities for experiential learning, and initiated new seed funding programs to support cutting-edge research and creative endeavors. He launched the Irving Institute for Energy and Society, established the DEN Innovation and New Venture Incubator (now known as the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship) and is leading the expansion of the Thayer School of Engineering. He also created the Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary community of post-doctoral scholars dedicated to the integration of research and teaching.

Committed to reining in the costs of higher education, Hanlon has maintained fiscal rigor, establishing an annual institution-wide reallocation process while holding tuition increases to the lowest levels since the 1970s. At the same time, he has overseen record levels of giving.

Under Hanlon's leadership, Dartmouth has also launched a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to combat high-risk behaviors while building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for students, faculty, and staff. Among them are Moving Dartmouth Forward (2015), Inclusive Excellence (2016) and, most recently, the Campus Climate and Culture Initiative (2019), which is aimed specifically at creating a learning environment free from sexual harassment and the abuse of power. These three interlocking initiatives form a broad-based program to ensure that behaviors and relationships in all contexts on campus are consistent with Dartmouth's values.

As a mathematician, Hanlon's own academic research is focused on probability and combinatorics, the study of finite structures and their significance as they relate to bioinformatics, computer science, and other fields. A dedicated teacher-scholar, President Hanlon is also a member of the faculty and teaches first-year calculus, sports analytics, and other mathematics courses at Dartmouth. 

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's 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.

Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Hanlon served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, where he was also the Donald J. Lewis Collegiate Professor of Mathematics. Hanlon was a member of the Michigan faculty for over 20 years and held a variety of administrative posts during his tenure. He began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981-1983) and was a Bantrell Fellow in Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (1983-1986). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) and the Executive Committee of the National Academies' Division of Policy and Global Affairs.

Hanlon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth, from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1977, and earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1981.

Phil Hanlon is married to Gail Gentes. The couple has three children and one grandchild.