Michael Hildreth, professor of physics and astronomy and senior associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School by Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
“From a pool of extraordinary candidates, Mike quickly rose to the top,” John McGreevy, the University’s Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, said. “He is admired by his peers on and off campus for his research expertise, creative energy and administrative acumen. He is poised to take our research and graduate studies programs to new heights.
“In addition, we are exceptionally grateful to electrical engineering professor Tom Fuja, who has served since last summer as interim vice president, associate provost and dean. Tom has taken on multiple leadership roles at Notre Dame and in each of these roles he has excelled. All of us at Notre Dame are in his debt.”
Father Jenkins added: “Mike is a renowned researcher, an award-winning educator and an experienced administrator with a deep passion for the mission of Notre Dame, making him the ideal person to lead our efforts with regard to graduate studies. Graduate students represent the next generation of researchers and innovators, and are the mentors and instructors of the future. I am delighted to be able to work with Mike in this important leadership role.”
A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2000, Hildreth is widely recognized for his contributions to particle physics, its software infrastructure and the technology and policies of open data. He and other physicists at Notre Dame played a significant role in the Higgs boson discovery in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva. Hildreth is the co-coordinator of the software and computing research and development effort for the U.S. operations program of the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment.
A fellow of the American Physical Society, Hildreth has served on the national High Energy Physics Advisory Panel and the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure. He is the co-author of more than 1,700 publications and also is a highly regarded teacher, receiving the College of Science’s Rev. James L. Shilts, C.S.C./Doris and Eugene Leonard Teaching Award in 2014, the Thomas P. Madden Award for first-year teaching in 2010, and a Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2008.
As senior associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Science, Hildreth directs the research and strategic planning efforts for the college and serves as its primary liaison to Notre Dame Research and the Graduate School. He has supervised more than $2 billion in grant submissions from science faculty, the creation of two new graduate programs, the establishment of interdisciplinary and inter-college partnerships, and numerous other strategic initiatives. He has played a significant role in the conception and planning of the new east campus research building, and in 2021 he served as interim dean of the college.
“I am incredibly excited and humbled by this opportunity,” Hildreth said. “I hope to build on strong existing programs to create a truly excellent set of opportunities for our graduate students and postdocs. I look forward to working with the other deans, the Graduate School team and faculty across the University to advance our research mission by bringing in the best young minds to campus while creating new initiatives to make graduate education at Notre Dame distinctive.
“I, too, would like to thank Tom Fuja for stepping in under extraordinary circumstances to guide the Graduate School this year. He has done an excellent job, and I look forward to working with him on the transition.”
Hildreth earned his doctorate in physics from Stanford University after receiving a bachelor’s degree in the field from Princeton University. Before coming to Notre Dame, he was a scientific associate and staff physicist at CERN.