College Leaders to Discuss ‘Dartmouth in a Changing World’

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The June 15 event will be livestreamed on the Dartmouth 250th website.

Aerial view of campus
(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00) 

In a Dartmouth 250th anniversary event, President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, and Chair of the Board of Trustees Laurel Richie ’81 are hosting leaders from the College and professional schools for “Disrupted or Disruptor: Dartmouth in a Changing World,” a conversation about the challenges facing higher education today and why Dartmouth’s approach to the liberal arts may hold a key to the future.

The roundtable discussion, moderated by Barbara Will, the A. and R. Newbury Professor of English and associate dean for the faculty of arts and humanities, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 15, in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

“Our panel is looking at all the disruptive pressures facing American institutions of higher ed in the 21st century: changes in technology and in the delivery of education; globalization and the diversity of the student body; access and affordability; professionalism; and a general skepticism about the value of liberal arts colleges,” says Will.

Dartmouth has been a “disrupter” of its own traditions throughout its history, says Will, through actions such as ushering in coeducation, creating graduate schools, and initiating programs to improve institutional outcomes, including Moving Dartmouth Forward and the Campus Climate and Culture Initiative.

“Nevertheless, Dartmouth also needs to recognize and respond to current challenges to avoid becoming simply ‘disrupted’ in the future, especially as our society increasingly questions the value of college. Our panel is an attempt to show the way senior leadership is responding to current challenges,” Will says.

The panelists will include Provost Joseph Helble; Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith; interim dean of Thayer School of Engineering Laura Ray; dean of the Tuck School of Business Matthew Slaughter; Dorothy and John J. Byrne Distinguished Professor at Geisel School of Medicine Kathryn Kirkland MED ’86; and dean of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies F. Jon Kull ’88.

The event will be livestreamed on the Dartmouth 250th website.

William Platt can be reached at

Bill Platt