Provost Joseph Helble selected as president of Lehigh University

After 16 years at the College, Helble will assume his new position in August.

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 4/26/21 1:00pm


When appointed in 2018, Helble was the sixth person to serve as provost or interim provost in a decade. 

by Naina Bhalla / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

After 16 years at the College, Provost Joseph Helble will leave Dartmouth to become president of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. College President Phil Hanlon will “soon” appoint an interim provost and set up a committee to conduct a search for the next provost “over the next few weeks,” according to the announcement in Dartmouth News.

Helble will remain at Dartmouth “through the academic year” before starting his tenure at Lehigh, his alma mater, on Aug. 16. He graduated from Lehigh with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1982 and became a member of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees in July 2020.

Helble first arrived at Dartmouth in 2005 and served as Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering for 13 years. In 2018, Hanlon named Helble as the College’s provost, making Helble the sixth person to hold the position of provost or interim provost in the preceding decade. In the role, Helble has served as the College’s chief academic and budget officer, working with the academic deans to oversee the College’s constituent schools and planning Dartmouth’s annual operating budgets. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Helble has led Dartmouth’s response and hosted regularly scheduled “Community Conversations,” livestreamed panels featuring discussions and live Q&A sessions intended to update the Dartmouth community on the College’s response to the crisis.

During his tenure as dean of Thayer, the school saw its enrollment double and became the first engineering program in the nation to award more bachelors’ degrees to women than men. According to the College, the increased interest in engineering and computer science led to the construction of the Center for Engineering and Computer Science on Dartmouth’s West End, which is scheduled to open this fall.

According to Lehigh University’s press release, Helble will be the second alumnus in the school’s history to become president. The search process to replace the school’s current president, John Simon, began last fall.