Heidelberg names new president

Dr. Robert H. Huntington, who will become Heidelberg’s next president in July, will bring a rich blend of higher education and corporate experience to the job. The college’s Board of Trustees announced its appointment of Huntington today (Dec. 3) following a nationwide search.
Huntington, who lives in Medfield, Mass., brings to Heidelberg 15 years of experience in higher education and 25 years of corporate experience, having served in a variety of management roles at Dunkin’ Brands Inc. for more than 21 years. For the past 10 years, he has been a member of the board of trustees at Lasell College in Newton, Mass., serving on several of its major committees.
Heidelberg’s 13th president, Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio, left the college in July to become the president of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Dr. James A. Troha, vice president for Student Affairs, is serving as interim president.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College, Huntington earned his master’s degree in German literature from Middlebury’s University of Mainz (Germany) program, his MBA degree from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and his Ed.D. degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in higher education administration, planning and social policy.
Huntington, who will assume office on July 1, said he is deeply honored to be appointed Heidelberg’s next president. He and his wife, Susan McCafferty, have visited the campus and the Tiffin community.
“Everyone whom we have met in Tiffin has impressed us in so many ways,” he said. “The spirit and momentum of Heidelberg is inspiring.
“I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their confidence in me to succeed Interim President Jim Troha as he continues to lead the institution successfully this year.”
He added that he is enthusiastically looking forward to joining the strong leadership team, faculty, staff, administration and students at Heidelberg.
Sondra Libman, chair of Heidelberg’s board, said Huntington emerged as the clear choice of both the search committee and the board, and enjoyed tremendous support from the many members of the Heidelberg community with whom he met.
“His experience with planning, budgeting and fundraising, combined with his fine understanding of the issues facing higher education, impressed all of us. We were as impressed by his warmth, intelligence and understanding of Heidelberg,” Libman said.
Trustee Doug Stephan, who chaired the presidential search committee, noted that the pool of 75 candidates was extremely strong. The search committee – which included trustees, faculty members, administrators and a student – interviewed nine semifinalists in October and brought three finalists to campus the week of Nov. 10.
“All those we interviewed in October had the qualifications and experience to be our next president,” Stephan said. “Our three finalists were truly outstanding.”
Not only did Huntington impress those on campus, he received high praise from colleagues in higher education. Judith B. McLaughlin, director of the Harvard Higher Education Program and chair of the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, was one of the people who nominated Huntington for the Heidelberg presidency. “He has the personal and professional characteristics that make him a strong and caring leader,” McLaughlin said. “Above all, he has a deep, long-standing commitment to higher education, valuing it for all that it has been and can be, and having the vision and leadership to move Heidelberg to the next level of achievement.”
Another of Huntington’s former professors and mentors, Kent J. Chabotar, president and professor of political science at Guilford College, also believes Huntington will make a strong and effective leader at Heidelberg, “I have known Rob for 20 years, ever since he was my student at Harvard. He combines experience in business and higher education in so many areas of critical importance to a college president, including strategic planning, academic leadership, finance and communication.”
During Huntington’s time on the board at Lasell College, he chaired the Academic Affairs committee for eight years and currently chairs the Institutional Advancement committee. He also is a member of the Finance Committee and served on Lasell’s last presidential search committee and its Sesquicentennial Capital Campaign Annual Fund Committee. He has been a teaching fellow, an instructor and a teaching assistant at Harvard, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, he has served as an alumni career counseling volunteer at Harvard, Dartmouth and Middlebury.
Simultaneously with his work in higher education, Huntington has worked for more than 21 years at Dunkin’ Brands, where he has held numerous positions, including executive roles as vice president for Enterprise Support Services, vice president for Organizational Learning and Development, vice president for Global Integrated Planning and Marketing Effectiveness, vice president for Business Reinvention and Strategic Planning and vice president for Multi-Brand Development.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of this great company for so many years and to have been able to support the growth of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins,” Huntington said. “Yes, I will miss a lot of company and franchisee colleagues tremendously.”
Huntington also serves on non-profit and philanthropic boards and is currently executive board chair of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Medfield.
He and his wife, Dr. Susan M. McCafferty, met during their undergraduate days at Middlebury. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, having earned her doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and a licensed attorney with her Juris Doctor Degree from Harvard Law School. Presently, she is not employed outside the home and is engaged in volunteer activities. Their two children, ages 11 and 8, attend the Medfield Public Schools. Dr. McCafferty has said that she is eager to become involved in the life of both Heidelberg and the Tiffin community.

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Dec 3, 2008