The Heidelberg University Board of Trustees has announced that, in accordance with terms of President Robert H. Huntington’s 2014-18 employment agreement, his contract has been extended an additional year.
In making the announcement, Board Chair Sondra G. Libman explained that Huntington was given a rolling contract designed to automatically turn into another five-year contract at the end of the first year and every year thereafter. As a result, Huntington’s new contract has been extended to June 2019. Libman said she looks forward to many more such extensions.
“Significant progress is ongoing among the board, President Huntington and the entire Heidelberg community,” Sondra said. “We want to continue to collaborate to help Heidelberg rise. As we nurture this relationship, Heidelberg will achieve its goals to provide distinctive learning opportunities and build engaging personal relationships that lead to lifetime successes for our graduates.”
Huntington began as Heidelberg’s 14th president in July 2009. In their fifth year as residents of Tiffin and Seneca County, he and his family have established roots in the community. He is currently serving as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. and its Executive Committee, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tiffin Charitable Foundation. He also is a member of the Tiffin Rotary.
Huntington said he looks forward – with optimism – to continuing the progress Heidelberg has made toward its two long-term strategic goals of improving academic excellence and the student experience. During his tenure, the university has completed five renovation and new construction projects, including Adams Hall, the Media Communication Center, the first new residence hall in 60 years and The University Commons with its Fireside Café Pub, and the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center. The next project is the construction of Hoernemann Athletic Stadium and the Fox Den Alumni Center, scheduled to be built around Mayer Field and completed next fall. Additionally, two facilities – Beeghly Library and the Bryenton Center for the Honors Program – have undergone major renovations, and landscaping and parking areas have been reshaped to better serve the campus and the community.
The university, under his guidance, also has made great strides toward its $75 million goal in the Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence, a multi-level initiative that is transforming the academic landscape at Heidelberg. ACCE is the key piece of the university’s Strategic Action Plan. Over five years, dollars raised through the campaign will deliver critical academic resources in four areas: people, infrastructure, programs and facilities.
Since Huntington’s arrival, several critical academic initiatives have been implemented, including the AIM Hei Faculty-Student Mentoring Program and the university’s first-ever (with several more to come) faculty endowed chair. Additionally, Heidelberg received the largest single cash gift from a non-alumnus -- $1.25 million that has been designated for professional development activities of faculty and staff. Faculty have introduced new majors in health sciences, self-designed studies and engineering physics and a new pre-med program is in place. Significant program changes have also enhanced the Academic & Career Support Center and the study abroad program.