Dr. Robert H. Huntington became the 14th president of Heidelberg University on July 1, 2009. Since his arrival, strengthening the university’s core mission has been placed at the forefront, with a focus on two long-term strategic goals: improving Academic Excellence and improving the Student Experience. He led the creation of a Strategic Action Plan that is guiding the university’s work and progress through 2018. All of the key initiatives are aimed at answering the strategic value question “Why Heidelberg?” through transformation, improvement and growth.
Dr. Huntington came to Heidelberg after 25 years in the corporate sector, having worked in a variety of marketing and executive management positions for more than 22 years at Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. in Canton, Massachusetts. Additionally, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees for 11 years at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts.
Born in 1955 in Minneapolis and raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon, Dr. Huntington is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College, earning his undergraduate degree in political science and German, a language in which he is fluent. He received his master’s degree in German literature from Middlebury’s University of Mainz (Germany) program, his MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and his Ed.D. degree in higher education administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Huntington oversees a Senior Leadership Team comprised of administrators in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Institutional Advancement and University Relations, Enrollment Management, and Administration and Business Affairs. As a member of the faculty with the rank of associate professor of business, he participates as a guest speaker in business classes and mentors undergraduate students. He also co-teaches the Honors Program seminar, “Philanthropy in American Society,” with Dr. David Hogan, professor of history.
In Ohio, President Huntington represents Heidelberg as a collegiate trustee on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges. He is currently the chair of the Ohio Athletic Conference President’s Council and serves as the OAC representative on the NCAA Division III President’s Advisory Group. In the Tiffin community, he is serving as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tiffin Charitable Foundation. Additionally, he is a member of the Tiffin Rotary.
Dr. Huntington is married to Dr. Susan M. McCafferty, a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed attorney, whom he met at their undergraduate alma mater, Middlebury College. Dr. McCafferty teaches the Honors Program seminar, “Strategies in Negotiation,” and serves as the Heidelberg Pre-Law Advisor for students. They are the parents of two children, Ashley and Aidan. They are also hosting their AFS daughter, Ebba, from Sweden during 2013-14.
“Hei-lights” of President Robert Huntington's Administration
- Dr. Huntington led the creation of a Strategic Action Plan that is guiding the university’s work and progress. The plan is based around six key pillars – recruitment, engagement, retention, success, graduation and return – all supporting the $75 million Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence (ACCE).
- Significant progress has been achieved in the transformational ACCE campaign, which ultimately is strengthening faculty support, advancing student success and elevating Heidelberg among its peers. The ACCE platform is enhancing Heidelberg’s core liberal arts offerings and professional programs.
- A product of funding through ACCE, Heidelberg has established its first two faculty endowed chairs: the Swinehart Family Endowed Chair in Education and the Adams Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Business. Four additional chairs are expected to be created in the coming years. The first two appointees are Dr. Robert Swanson, associate dean and director of the School of Education and professor of education (Fall 2103) and Dr. Haseeb Ahmed, dean of the School of Business and professor of finance (Fall 2014).
- Over the past four years, 23 dynamic new faculty members have joined with distinguished current faculty members who are innovative and engaging with students in the classroom and in their roles in co-curricular activities. Many of our faculty encourage research collaboration with students, modeling best practices and techniques and accompanying students to state, regional and national conferences, where they get their first taste of presenting their work in professional settings.
- The university has built or renovated five facilities (Adams Hall, Media Communication Center, Talmage Residence Hall, The University Commons and the Saurwein Health & Wellness Center) with the sixth, Hoernemann Stadium and The Fox Den Alumni Center, scheduled for completion in Fall 2014. Most recently, Beeghly Library and the Bryenton Center for Honors have also undergone significant renovations.
- Several critical academic initiatives have been implemented, including the AIM Hei Faculty-Student Mentoring Program, new majors in health sciences, self-designed studies and biochemistry, a one-year MBA program, the integrated Owen Academic & Career Support Center and the enhanced study abroad program.
- Heidelberg received the largest single cash gift of $1.25 million from a non-alumni donor, James Dicke III. The gift was designated for academic professional development activities of faculty and staff, including the return of faculty sabbaticals.
- The Diversity Task Force continues its work of assessing current services and policies available to women, ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, LGBT students and international students. Several new initiatives and programs have already been launched.
- New and distinctive programs such as The Patricia Adams Lecture Series, the Lichtman-Behm Genocide Lecture Series and the Education Summit provide opportunities for the campus and local communities to become engaged with Heidelberg in meaningful ways.
- President Huntington has worked hard to create and nurture community partnerships, including Heidelberg’s collaboration with the Tiffin Community YMCA to offer fitness programming in the new Saurwein Health & Wellness Center and the university’s leadership role in the Tiffin Tomorrow initiative. As a homeowner in Tiffin, he is very engaged in helping to make Tiffin and Seneca County a stronger community.