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Attracting the world's best talent has been a central component of Dartmouth's drive toward academic excellence.
Focused faculty hiring initiatives, support for the middle academic generation, and success in undergraduate admissions fueled, in part, by historic levels of investment in student financial aid have enabled Dartmouth to mobilize its full intellectual resources around urgent world issues, as new centers and institutes help amplify its global impact.
Following a significant and impressive rise in research expenditures (up 61% from FY2013 to FY 2020 to $326.3 million) and widespread recognition of Dartmouth faculty's research, Dartmouth was re-classified as an R1 institution by the Carnegie Foundation, designated as having "very high research activity," and, in 2019, was invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities, a distinguished group of leading U.S. research universities.
One of the earliest initiatives to be launched by President Hanlon at the start of his presidency is the academic cluster initiative. Through it, Dartmouth is creating 30 new endowed faculty positions across the arts and sciences and the professional schools over a 10-year period.
Arranged in cross-disciplinary teams focused on topics of global import, Dartmouth's academic clusters are attracting exceptional faculty scholars to campus and positioning Dartmouth to be a key contributor to some of the complex global challenges that will define the next century, including energy, international security, the future of the Arctic, and cancer cures and prevention.
Funded by an anonymous $100 million gift in 2014—the largest single outright donation in Dartmouth history—the academic clusters are fueling cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and collaboration across departments and schools.
Creating a freestanding graduate school was among the first proposals President Hanlon made when assuming the role of president in 2013, supporting recommendations made by others in the years preceding his presidency. In 2016, it came to fruition.
Named in 2018 for Congressman Frank J. Guarini '46, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies is the first new school to be established at Dartmouth in more than a century.
Up until its creation, graduate studies had been overseen by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, even though several of the graduate programs and nearly half of the graduate students resided in Dartmouth's professional schools of business, engineering, and medicine.
The establishment of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies has enabled Dartmouth to:
"It should come as no surprise that our elite postdoc programs are fueling the Dartmouth community in more ways than one. Fueling the passions of one another is what the Dartmouth fellowship is all about." —President Hanlon
Founded by President Hanlon in 2014, the Society of Fellows fosters the academic careers of scholars who have recently earned their PhDs, allowing them to pursue their research and gain mentored experience as teachers and members of the departments or programs in which they are located.
These postdoctoral scholars, whose academic interests transcend disciplines to address the world's broad issues, serve as an important bridge between undergraduates and faculty members, infusing the Dartmouth community with energy and cutting-edge research. They bring fresh ideas, bold thinking and academic urgency to campus, driven to make a difference as they launch their academic careers.
During paid three-year fellowships, postdocs pursue their own research and teach two courses with support from the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. The society is part of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.
"We believe that leadership in higher education embraces the responsibility to ensure that current and future generations of exceptional students from every background have full access to the extraordinary opportunity a Dartmouth education represents. Education transforms lives, opens economic opportunity, and fosters the bedrock values of a great society." —President Hanlon
Based on the premise that talent, drive and promise are distributed equally among us, Dartmouth has placed access and affordability at the forefront of its strategy to attract the world's best students to Dartmouth, eliminating financial barriers and opening doors to opportunity.
With the support of the Presidential Commission on Financial Aid, Dartmouth has rallied its community to raise an unprecedented $375 million to date toward its $500 million goal for student financial aid, its highest priority in the Call to Lead campaign. These investments, as well as record endowment returns, have allowed Dartmouth to announce sweeping financial aid initiatives, including:
Under President Hanlon's leadership, Dartmouth has experienced unprecedented success in Admissions. In addition to a 26% rise in undergraduate applications since 2013, Dartmouth's admissions yield—the number of admitted students who decide to come to Dartmouth—has grown from 50% in 2013 to 73% in 2021.
Further, the number of students representing the top 10% of their high school classes rose from 90% to 95% over that same period.
In short, Dartmouth has become both significantly more popular among—and more selective of—prospective students.
Dartmouth students are also experiencing greater success after graduation. From 2013 to 2018, post-Dartmouth placement in jobs and further education has soared 27% from 66% of the graduating class to 84%.
Ever since the start of his presidency, President Hanlon has emphasized the important role that centers and institutes play in attracting exceptional talent to Dartmouth. They:
What makes them different at Dartmouth is that they deeply involve undergraduates in their work.
Under President Hanlon's leadership, the following centers and institutes have taken shape at Dartmouth, positioning the institution for outsized global impact: