Address to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

President Hanlon's address to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the winter 2023 meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The first agenda item is remarks from the President, so let me just say a few words as my time as President of Dartmouth winds down. I am well aware that this is the 38th out of 40 Arts and Sciences faculty meetings that I will share as President; but who's counting?

And a lot of people are asking me, how do you feel about this? You know, the winding down. And you know what? To be honest, if I were to pick one word, I would say "excited."

Not excited about no longer being President. That's been the honor of a lifetime. But rather, I am super energized by so many things I see going on around campus.

First and foremost, I'm excited about our teaching mission.

Admittedly, part of this excitement comes from teaching this term myself – Math 28: Introduction to Combinatorics – to 41 eager students. Some of you know that this is the course that stirred my passion for mathematics when I took it as an undergraduate in the spring of 1974. That was [quite] a few years ago, but it's still a subject whose beauty inspires me, almost 50 years later.

I would say, though, that our teaching mission moves me in ways that are much deeper than any particular course or my own experience. I am more inspired than ever by the contributions that our collective teaching makes to the growth and development of our students.

We're in the business of preparing Dartmouth graduates for lives of leadership and impact. And as an academic institution, we approach this business with certain core beliefs.

We believe in truth.

We look towards reason applied to evidence, to illuminate that truth.

We understand the power of open and respectful debate of a diverse set of perspectives.

And we believe that the most potent tool that our students carry into the world is the power of their minds.

Thus, whether it's in the creative arts, the study of the human condition, the qualitative or quantitative social sciences, or STEM fields, our teaching helps equip our students to gain the knowledge and intellectual skills they will need for success in our increasingly volatile and complex world.

To me, nothing could be more exciting than to think that we played a role in how our graduates will someday apply their intellects to the really deep and difficult issues of the world. So, if I look back at the last 10 years, I've been especially impressed, not only by your dedication to the craft of teaching, but also by your creativity and ingenuity in making it better. That was on full display during the pandemic, of course. But it was actually clearly evident from the moment I first stepped back on campus and asked that we enhance our experiential learning.

DCAL has been instrumental to that initiative as well as to so many other forms of teaching innovation.

And so, I hope you will carry that innovative spirit on in the future in partnership with the newly launched Transformation Office, led by Lamar Bunts.

As faculty, we better the human condition, not just through our graduates, but through our research and creative work. This has always been an important part of the work we do as faculty at Dartmouth. But I am truly excited by the elevation and quality and impact that all of you have brought to our scholarly profile.

The world has noticed, not just through institutional recognition, like return to R1 status and election to the AAU, but through the many prestigious faculty awards that you are earning again this winter. You're knocking it out of the park.

And I would like to recognize Simone Silver Bush, the new Communications Director for Arts and Sciences, who is shining the light on your many accomplishments, a much needed and and well-deserved light.

Given her efforts, I'll not try to go through an exhaustive list of kudos, but please know that they are plentiful, and they are in every division.

Just a few exemplars: Matt Delmont's book Half American is receiving starred reviews by any number of outlets, including being selected as an editor's choice by The New York Times Book Review.

In 2022, no fewer than six assistant professors in the sciences at Dartmouth were recognized with CAREER awards, a sign of future promise for our science departments.

Peter Winkler, who I see on this Zoom, was named an AAAS fellow.

Allie Martin received the Jaap Kunst Prize, which honors the year's most significant article published in the field of ethnomusicology by a scholar in the first 10 years of their career.

The Council of Graduate schools presented the Gustave O. Arlt award to Vaughn Booker, Class of '07, from our Religion and African American Studies Departments.

I could go on and on. This list is by no means exhaustive. It is only meant to illustrate that our colleagues across the nation are paying attention to Dartmouth and hold the scholarly and creative work being done at Dartmouth in high esteem.

Beyond our core missions of teaching and learning, I'm excited about other things. I'm excited by our efforts to build a supportive community. Thanks to all of you who attended or watched the inspiring launch of the Toward Equity Plan, with special thanks to Chloe Poston and Shontay Delalue and their colleagues in IDE for formulating the strategic plan.

There is much work to be done, and roles for every one of us to play.

These are not ambitions that can be realized just by administrators or by certain offices, alone. We all need to participate, and I look forward to broad engagement by all of you on the faculty going forward.

And finally, let me say how excited I am by the potential that can be unleashed through the Arts and Sciences Transformation Project, which I know we're going to hear more about in just a little while, within Arts and Sciences, itself. The ability to set priorities and push resource allocations closer to the ground, and the prospect of better coordination of the many ways in which we enable student growth and learning – not just through our classroom teaching, but within their residential experiences, their student organizations, and the many other forms of advising and support we offer them.

So, thanks to the many of you on the faculty who are involved in the Arts and Sciences Transformation Project, and its working groups. And, of course, let me single out Elizabeth Smith for playing such a fundamental research leadership role in this effort. Elizabeth, well done.

This is a great moment for Dartmouth. What we've accomplished in the last decade, thanks in very large part to your efforts, is truly inspiring.

And with Sian at the helm, this will just be the start. I am confident that Dartmouth will continue on our current trajectory and momentum. And we'll have much more to be excited about in the years ahead.

So, let me just conclude with a "thank you," and now open it up to any questions.