Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Perspective: Dartmouth's Next Provost

Joseph Helble
Photograph by Robert Gill.

Following a national search, Dean Joseph J. Helble has been appointed Dartmouth’s next provost by President Phil Hanlon ’77. Helble will take up his new position at the end of October. The search for Thayer’s next dean will begin this summer, and an interim dean will be appointed before the start of fall term.

During his four terms and nearly 13 years at Thayer’s helm, Helble has been a tireless advocate for the liberal arts as an essential element of an engineer’s education. As he says, “A grounding in the liberal arts creates the context for understanding engineering problems and helps students learn to ask broader questions and develop deeper critical thinking skills.”

Under Helble’s leadership, Thayer enrollments have nearly doubled, the faculty has grown, funding has risen to record levels, and Thayer has achieved two national firsts: graduating a majority female engineering class and launching a PhD Innovation Program that augments doctoral research with entrepreneurial training. Thayer established new exchange programs in Asia and Denmark, a modified major with public policy for those interested in careers in public service, summer design programs for middle and high school students interested in exploring engineering, short courses taught over winter break for Dartmouth and Thayer students interested in exploring a technology-focused topic, and a biomedical engineering sciences major for engineering students interested in attending medical school. And, as 70 percent of Dartmouth students take at least one engineering or computer science course, Helble has helped spearhead an ambitious growth plan that includes an additional building at Thayer that will house an expanded engineering faculty, the Department of Computer Science, the Magnuson Family Center for Entrepreneurship, and state-of-the-art classrooms and design spaces that will facilitate active learning (see page 8), which he will continue to shepherd in his new position.

“As an educational trailblazer, Joe Helble is eminently suited to help shape Dartmouth’s future at this time of dynamic change and opportunity,” says Hanlon. “He is a visionary and skilled leader who will bring a track record of accomplishment to his new role.”

As provost, Helble will be Dartmouth’s second-ranking officer and the chief academic officer. In consultation with the academic deans, he will be charged with advancing the teaching and scholarship of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, the Tuck School of Business, and Thayer. Working with the academic deans, dean of the College, and vice provost for enrollment management, Helble will be responsible for supporting and advancing all student-related programs, including leadership for all aspects of enrollment management, admissions, and financial aid, and will have significant financial oversight, working closely with the executive vice president to manage the academic budget.

“I am honored to be taking on this important role at this momentous time for Dartmouth, and I look forward to working closely with President Hanlon and the extraordinary people at Dartmouth—our talented faculty, gifted students, and committed staff,” Helble says.

The dean makes clear that he isn’t leaving Thayer behind. Addressing the Thayer community, he says, “One of the true privileges of my time at Thayer has been the opportunity to work with such dedicated faculty, staff, and alumni at Thayer, fully committed to supporting the education and research of incredible students. Since I am only walking across campus to a new office and will still be engaged at Thayer, including with our building project, I look forward to further collaborations with all of you.”

Categories: Perspective

Tags: faculty, leadership

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