The Heidelberg University Board of Trustees has announced that, in accordance with terms of President Robert H. Huntington’s 2019-2024 employment agreement, his contract has been extended an additional year.
Board Chair Kathleen Tirbovich Geier made the announcement following the Board’s fall meetings Oct. 18-19. 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, his new contract has been extended to June 2025. Geier said she looks forward to many more such extensions.
“Over the past 10 years, the Board has been pleased to collaborate with Rob as we execute our bold vision for Heidelberg’s future,” Geier said. “He has been a strong leader and decision maker in guiding Heidelberg on our shared path toward education excellence, student success and graduation. As Heidelberg continues to evolve to meet the needs of our students and the challenges facing higher education today, we need a steady hand at the helm and Heidelberg has been fortunate to have that in Rob Huntington.”
Under Huntington’s leadership, Heidelberg has invested about $28 million to complete 16 new construction and major renovation projects that have dramatically improved the student and guest experience on campus. In the past year, The HeidelBean! coffee shop and loft has opened, a new donor-funded lab for Exercise Science students is up and running, and renovation is nearing completion for the former Media Communication Center, now the new GEM Center (short for Gaming, eSports and Media) and home to the new Video Game Production major and eSports club. Additionally, the University has raised nearly $66 million in its Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence (ACCE), a multi-level, multi-year initiative that is transforming the academic offerings and educational experiences that provide distinctive opportunities and advantages for Heidelberg’s students.
Huntington has overseen the development and implementation of a number of new programs – the PlusOneAdvantage® MBA Tuition-Free Scholarship Program, the co-curricular HYPE Career Ready® Program, and the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee to guide all students toward graduation and professional and personal success.
As part of the Academic Strategic Initiatives for Improvement Plan (ASIIP), Huntington has supported the leadership of Academic Affairs and the faculty in the restructuring of Heidelberg’s academic departments into three schools, the creation of new majors in exercise science, video game production and the newest, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Geier noted that all stakeholders have had a role in Heidelberg’s success and progress over the past several years, and she credits stability at the highest level of leadership. “It takes a commitment to collaboration among the Board, senior leadership and the entire Heidelberg community to help Heidelberg rise. Stability at the presidential level allows us to achieve our goals and build engaging personal relationships that lead to lives of purpose with distinction for all of our graduates. We are all very optimistic about the future,” she said.
“I still feel very lucky to be at Heidelberg University and look ahead enthusiastically to our long, hard march forward and upward together for our students,” Huntington commented.
Huntington began as Heidelberg’s 14th president in July 2009. In their 11th year as residents of Tiffin and Seneca County, he and his family have established roots in the community they now call home. He is a past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (formerly Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp.) and its Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tiffin Community Foundation and a member of the Tiffin Rotary. 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, Huntington served on the NCAA Division III Presidents Council and as a member of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, while also representing the Ohio Athletic Conference on the NCAA Division III Presidents Advisory Group for the past seven years.