Dr. Robert H. Huntington became the 14th president of Heidelberg University on July 1, 2009. Since his arrival, he has prioritized the strengthening of Heidelberg’s core student mission of education excellence, full engagement, total success, 4-year graduation, and preferred placement. Heidelberg has become more contemporary and relevant for students, sharpening its focus on the needs and priorities identified in the Academic Strategic Initiatives for Improvement Plan (ASIIP) and the Academic Strategic Programs Prioritization Plan (ASPPP). More than $100 million has been raised over the past 13 years, including through the highly successful Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence (ACCE) that raised $77.2 million when it finished in June 2021. Heidelberg continues to invest in new academic programs, faculty and staff, innovative teaching and learning, campus technology, and new or renovated facilities for academics, athletics, and residential living under his leadership.
In recent years, Heidelberg has launched a series of highly innovative, market-driven initiatives, including the Heidelberg Tuition Guarantee, the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, the HYPE Career Ready® Program, and the PlusOneAdvantage® Tuition-Free MBA Program, setting the University apart and giving students big opportunities and life advantages as they prepare for their post-graduation careers and lives of purpose with distinction.
During Dr. Huntington’s tenure, Heidelberg has introduced critical new student programming and resources with the implementation of the AIM Hei Faculty-Student Mentoring Program for all first-time students and enhanced student resources through closer collaboration of the Owen Center for Teaching and Learning and the Stoner Health and Counseling Center. The Heidelberg faculty will introduce a new Integrated Studies General Education program in Fall 2022.
Early in his presidency, he led the planning, development, and ongoing revision of the Heidelberg University Strategic Action Plan 2010-2020. As the University has progressed through these goals and priorities, the campus has undergone a tremendous physical transformation with the construction or renovation of 24 student-centered buildings and facilities that have dramatically improved the overall campus experience. A cross-functional strategic planning committee developed the Heidelberg University Strategic Growth Action Plan FY 2022-2026 in 2021-2022. The Board of Trustees approved the SGAP in December 2021.
Dr. Huntington came to Heidelberg after 25 years in the corporate sector, having worked in a variety of executive management positions for more than 22 years at Dunkin’ Brands Inc. in Boston, 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, Minnesota, and raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon, Dr. Huntington is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College, earning his undergraduate B.A. degree in Political Science and German, a language in which he is fluent. He received his M.A. degree in German literature from Middlebury’s University of Mainz program in Germany, his M.B.A. degree 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.
In the community, he was chair of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (formerly SIEDC) Board of Trustees and its Executive Committee for three years and remains an active member. He is also a member of the Tiffin Community Foundation Board of Trustees, the East Green Foundation Board of Trustees, the Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors, and the Tiffin Rotary. In higher education, he is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) and serves as a Trustee for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Ohio (AICUO). Nationally, Dr. 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 seven years.
Dr. Huntington is married to Dr. Susan M. McCafferty, a clinical psychologist and an attorney, whom he met at their undergraduate alma mater, Middlebury College. She is an adjunct professor, the pre-law adviser, and chair of The Patricia Adams Lecture Series selection committee. They are the parents of two nearly grown children, Ashley and Aidan. As Tiffin homeowners, they are very engaged in helping to make Heidelberg’s hometown a more vibrant community for everyone.