Hanlon Suggests Upgrading Support for Graduate Studies

On November 11, 2013 by Grad Forum

possible_hanlon_thumbnail2In his first formal address to faculty since taking office, President Philip Hanlon laid out his goals and vision for Dartmouth during a speech and subsequent question and answer session at the widely attended General Faculty Meeting on November 4 in Alumni Hall.

President Hanlon opened by acknowledging Dartmouth’s already prestigious reputation within higher education; he praised Dartmouth for being a place where students experience innovative learning and have the opportunity to work with the nation’s top faculty. He also commended Dartmouth on its ability to inspire students to take what they have learned in their classes and apply it in real world settings. This is one of the reasons recruiters consider Dartmouth graduates such a “hot commodity,” this ability to translate intellectual learning into action-based, real world outcomes.

President Hanlon went on to highlight some of the forces driving changes within higher education; namely, the diversity and globalization of the current workplace, and the opportunities that the utilization of more information technology can provide. He stressed the need to continue to prepare students to be culturally aware and to practice humility in order to be effective in a growing global economy. He also emphasized the importance that IT plays in the advancement of learning, and that student engagement might be improved through employing more technology platforms.

President Hanlon would like to see Dartmouth begin hiring “clusters of faculty” and increase the flow of “young scholars” through the College. These clusters of faculty and young scholars will help to create rich, exciting environments for research and teaching here at Dartmouth. One way to do this is by utilizing the graduate and professional schools more by promoting interdisciplinary work and connecting undergraduate students with graduate students.

One of the initiatives President Hanlon mentioned for consideration by the faculty that would most impact graduate students is the possibility of creating a free-standing graduate school. Although programs in graduate work began in 1885, they have never been formally housed under any one school, but rather fall under the guidance of a Graduate Studies Office that does not report directly to the Provost. This new school would be the first created since Tuck School of Business was founded in 1900. A Graduate School on par with Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Geisel School of Medicine would be very exciting and only help to advance graduate studies in general at Dartmouth. President Hanlon also made mention of his intention to expand and grow Thayer in the coming years as well.

Dean_kull_thumbnail_1Dean Jon Kull of Graduate Studies was especially excited to hear about President Hanlon’s suggestion of formalizing a Graduate School at Dartmouth, and had the following to say on the matter: “I think President Hanlon’s idea of creating a Graduate School is a very clear signal that Dartmouth is committed not only to maintaining its excellence in undergraduate education, but also to supporting and expanding the research and scholarship of its graduate students and faculty. A Graduate School is a way to acknowledge the essential and distinctive role graduate students have within the broader Dartmouth community and will only strengthen Dartmouth’s national and international reputation. I envision a Dartmouth Graduate School whose programs will not only train graduate students deeply in their chosen areas of research, but will also draw from Dartmouth’s strength in the Liberal Arts to offer a well-rounded graduate education, enabling our graduates to become leaders in their chosen fields. This will give a Dartmouth graduate education a distinctive advantage. I am excited at the prospect of creating a new graduate school together with graduate students, faculty, staff, and the administration.”

When addressing how to afford such new ideas, President Hanlon said he would like to develop philanthropic giving to the College and also rely on self-investment. He also said reallocating space would be essential and reprioritizing initiatives would likely be forthcoming. Overall, the future looks bright for Dartmouth College under the leadership of its new president. There are sure to be changes and challenges ahead, as well as opportunities and successes. President Hanlon appears ready and motivated to move Dartmouth forward into a new era of academic accomplishment.

A transcript of the President’s remarks can be found here.

by Lisa Jackson


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