Tiffin, Ohio— The University of Heidelberg Board of Trustees has announced that, pursuant to the terms of President Robert H. Huntington’s 2023-2028 employment agreement, his contract has been extended for another year.
Board Chair Kathleen Tirbovich Geier made the announcement after the Council’s fall meeting last week. Huntington was given a revolving contract designed to automatically convert into another five-year contract at the end of the first year and every year thereafter. As a result, his new contract was extended until June 2028.
Geier commended Huntington’s leadership in guiding Heidelberg through the completion and early stages of University implementation 2022-2026 Strategic Growth Action Plankey document that has charted a new direction for Heidelberg for the next five years and beyond.
“It is an honor, as a board, to partner with a strong leader like Rob Huntington in guiding Heidelberg on our path of excellent and affordable education together for all students,” said Geier. “Due to the collaboration among the board, senior leadership and all members of the Heidelberg family, our University continues to improve, despite the challenges of COVID and the higher education demographics we have experienced over the past few years.
“Rob continues to maintain his focus on Heidelberg Value’s pressing strategic and institutional goals and gaining a competitive market advantage; Enrollment growth by expanding student educational opportunities; Diversity, Equality and Inclusion by emphasizing efforts to make Heidelberg a more diverse, fair and inclusive learning community; and Financial Sustainability by strengthening resilience for University sustainability.”
Under Huntington’s leadership, Heidelberg has invested nearly $55 million since 2010 to complete 24 new construction projects and major renovations that dramatically enhance the student and guest experience on campus. Most recently, in August, the University completed an $8.9 million renovation of Miller Residence Hall. A year ago, the Heidelberg faculty approved the Integrated Studies General Education Curriculum, which was implemented this semester. Earlier this month, the head of Academic Affairs and the Heidelberg faculty decided to convert three currently popular business concentrations into majors, adding two new market-driven business majors, adding a new market-based interdisciplinary major and creating a new five-year undergraduate to masters pathway program. All of these new academic programs will start next fall.
Huntington has overseen the development and implementation of a number of innovative programs targeted at recruiting strong new students to Heidelberg each fall. For example, the Heidelberg Tuition Guarantee locks in tuition fees for students for their four years of study at Heidelberg. Combined with the Test-Optional Admissions Option for incoming students, the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, the HYPE Career Ready® Program, the PlusOneAdvantage® MBA Tuition-Free Scholarship Program, and the Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, the Tuition Guarantee equips Heidelberg students with strong values and initiative high student impact. In combination, these initiatives promote accessibility, affordability, student success, and student placement, all key drivers of Heidelberg’s core student mission.
“I look forward to broad-based collaboration in pursuit of our multi-layered goal of transforming a generation of students. That’s something very important to us,” Huntington said. “Heidelberg is committed to providing differentiated programmes, excellent teaching, academic innovation and co-curricular and extra-curricular programs that we believe will continue to enrich the lives of current and future students, and engage with our alumni.”
The stage is set for students to reach their full potential towards a life of purpose with a difference, Huntington added.
“I am energized by our fully engaged students, by our faculty and staff who are so focused on our important cause, our alumni who help sustain and support our work and vision, and the community partnerships that help us all rise together. ,” said Huntington. “Forward and up!”
Huntington began as Heidelberg’s 14th president in July 2009. In their 14th year as residents of Tiffin and Seneca County, he and his family have become entrenched in the community they now call home. He was the former chairman of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Oversight Board and its Executive Committee and still serves on that board. He is also a member of the Tiffin Community Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of the Tiffin Rotary. In addition, he became a member of the Board of Directors of Lakeside Chautauqua in 2020.
In higher education, Huntington serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) and as a Trustee for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Ohio (AICUO). Nationally, he served on the NCAA Division III President’s Board and as a member of the Strategic and Financial Planning Committee, while also representing the Ohio Athletics Conference (OAC) in the NCAA Division III Presidential Advisory Group for eight years. Huntington has served as chairman of the OAC President’s Council twice since coming to Heidelberg.
Founded in 1850, Heidelberg offers 27 majors, 27 minors, and 10 pre-professional programs, awarding bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, as well as master’s degrees in counselling, business administration, and athletic training. Heidelberg is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as the best college in the Midwest. In the 2023 survey, HU rose in the Social Mobility category to No. 19 and was ranked high in Best Undergraduate Teaching at No. 8 in the Midwest Regional Universities category.