David Kotz ’86 Named Dartmouth Provost

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The computer scientist has served as interim provost since July 2021.

Dartmouth Provost David Kotz '86
Provost David Kotz ’86, a computer science professor, has been a prolific scholar-teacher. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 today announced that David Kotz ’86 has been named Dartmouth’s provost, the institution’s chief academic and fiscal officer, effective immediately.

Kotz, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor in Computer Science, has served as interim provost since July 2021.

“I am privileged to work closely with Dave and to see his levelheaded leadership style and depth of experience. He has fully earned the confidence of the faculty, students, staff, and trustees, and I can think of no one better to help us continue to enhance our academic excellence,” Hanlon says. “His ability to prioritize and elevate the mission-critical work that advances the most important strategic institutional priorities will be fundamental to his success in the role.”

Reporting to President Hanlon, Kotz will be charged with elevating Dartmouth’s academic profile and with supporting the teaching and scholarship of its faculties and schools. He will also be responsible for advancing all student-related programs and will work closely with Executive Vice President Rick Mills to manage Dartmouth’s academic budget.

Kotz says he is honored by the appointment.

“I look forward to the work ahead. We have a lot to do,” he says. “I want to thank my colleagues and all the members of the community who have worked so hard these past months—under often trying and unpredictable circumstances—to balance Dartmouth’s academic and research mission with the health and well-being of all.”

Kotz will continue to co-lead Dartmouth’s COVID-19 response with Mills, with a focus on maintaining the student experience and keeping the campus as open as possible while promoting the physical and mental health of the community.

Previously, Kotz served as associate dean of the faculty for the sciences, executive director of Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society, and core director of Dartmouth’s Center for Technology and Behavioral Health. He is the lead researcher on a five-year National Science Foundation research program to reduce the security risks related to consumer-based smart technologies, and plans to continue this work with students and colleagues. He was also interim provost in 2017-2018.

Kotz majored in computer science and physics at Dartmouth and earned his PhD from Duke University. A prolific scholar-teacher—he has published 244 refereed scientific papers and received more than $89 million in grant funding—his research focuses on computer security and privacy, health care computing, and wireless networks.

These interests have led to frequent interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students across the institution, and to nearly a dozen patents and patents pending. In three decades as a member of the Dartmouth faculty, Kotz has mentored more than 100 undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers.

Among his professional recognitions, he is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery—the world’s largest and most prestigious association of computing professionals—and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He spent 2008 in India on a Fulbright Fellowship, and in 2019 was a visiting professor at ETH Zürich.

An avid outdoorsman and photographer who has kept a blog of his explorations for several decades, Kotz joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1991.

Hanlon thanked the search committee, chaired by Russell Muirhead, the Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics.

The committee included Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid; Shontay Delalue, senior vice president and senior diversity officer; Trustee Odette Harris ’91, a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford; Constance Helfat, the J. Brian Quinn Professor in Technology and Strategy at the Tuck School of Business; Will Huang, Tuck ’22; Steven Leach, director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center; Nina Pavcnik, the Niehaus Family Professor in International Studies; Anastasia Perez Ternent ’22; Laura Ray, senior associate dean at Thayer School of Engineering; Enrico Riley, the George Frederick Jewett Professor of Studio Art; Peter Roby ’79, interim director of athletics; and Xia Zhou, associate professor of computer science.

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