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Week of February 1, 2010

Hanlon selected as provost

Philip Hanlon, Donald J. Lewis Professor of Mathematics and vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, has been selected as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs by President Mary Sue Coleman.

Hanlon’s appointment will be effective July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents at its Feb. 18 meeting. Hanlon succeeds Provost Teresa Sullivan, who is stepping down to become the president of the University of Virginia. Sullivan will continue to serve as provost until June 30.

The provost is the chief academic and budgetary officer and responsible for sustaining and enhancing the university’s academic excellence in teaching, research and creative endeavors. The provost oversees the activities of U-M’s 19 schools and colleges as well as numerous interdisciplinary institutes and centers.

“Phil Hanlon has been exceptional in guiding academic programs and initiatives affecting all facets of the university,” Coleman says. In particular, his command of budgetary issues has been critical to the university’s financial stability during challenging economic times. His appointment as provost reflects his distinct strengths as a teacher, scholar, administrator and leader.”

Hanlon currently serves as the vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs. In this role, he works closely with the provost on all matters pertaining to the university’s general fund budget and on development and support of academic programs and initiatives. He is responsible for budget, space and facilities matters, strategic planning and oversees the reviews of the U-M’s schools and colleges. In addition, he handles academic issues related to student athletes and oversees two of the research institutes that report to the provost.

He led a presidential initiative to advance interdisciplinary teaching at the undergraduate level and organized a campuswide initiative aimed at making more effective use of space and facilities.

“The University of Michigan is an exceptional institution, at the forefront of public research universities,” Hanlon says. “I’m excited and deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve as provost.”

Hanlon came to the university in 1986 as an associate professor of mathematics and rose to the rank of professor in 1990. From 2001-04 he served as the associate dean for planning and finance in LSA, where he played a lead role in budgeting and academic planning within the college. During that time, he was responsible for implementing a new incentive-based budget model within the college.

Prior to coming to U-M, Hanlon was an instructor in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then a Bantrell Fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

Hanlon has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.

His research interests lie in the areas of algebraic combinatorics, discrete probability, bioinformatics and theoretical computer science. He has published in a number of professional mathematics journals throughout his career.

Hanlon’s awards for his mathematical research include a Sloan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Henry J. Russel Award in 1990.

His dedication to undergraduate teaching has been recognized by an Excellence in Education Award and a Thurnau Professorship. Hanlon also was the founder and first executive director of the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, a thriving summer program for high school students.

He has been a visiting professor at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, England; the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; the Institut des Hautes etudes Scientifique and the University of Strasbourg, both in France; Oxford University; and the Center for Communications Research at Princeton.



Teresa Herzog Mourad, on her favorite part of her job: “I am constantly inspired by changes people make in their alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors.”