The Heidelberg University Board of Trustees has announced that, in accordance with terms of President Robert H. Huntington’s 2022-2027 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. 12-15. 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 2027.
Kathy said that simultaneously with Rob's strong leadership, vision and decision making over the past 18 months during the uncertainties and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led the process to develop the University’s next Strategic Growth Action Plan, a key document that will chart a new direction for Heidelberg for the next five years and beyond.
“The Board of Trustees has confidence knowing that in Rob Huntington, Heidelberg has strong, steady, flexible, energetic leadership to move us forward,” she said. “Even while navigating the day-to-day challenges of a global pandemic, Rob has maintained his focus on the institutional goals of Heidelberg value, enrollment growth, diversity, equity and inclusivity, and financial sustainability. We are fortunate to have him steering our ship.”
Under Rob's leadership, Heidelberg has invested more than $44 million to complete 21 new construction and major renovation projects that have dramatically improved the student and guest experience on campus. In August, the University completed a major restoration and renovation of the historic France Residence Hall and began a major renovation of Miller Residence Hall. Additionally, the University raised more than $77 million (with a goal of $75 million) over the past decade in its Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence (ACCE), the largest most ambitious fund-raising campaign in Heidelberg’s history. ACCE was a multi-level, multi-year initiative that has transformed the academic offerings and educational experiences that provide distinctive opportunities and advantages for Heidelberg’s students. Earlier this semester, Heidelberg’s faculty approved the Integrated Studies General Education Curriculum, which will be implemented in the Fall 2022 semester.
Rob has overseen the development and implementation of a number of innovative programs targeted at recruiting strong classes of new students to Heidelberg each fall. For example, the Heidelberg Tuition Guarantee locks in the cost of tuition for students over their four years of study at Heidelberg. Combined with a Test-Optional Admission Option for incoming students, a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, the HYPE Career Ready® Program, the PlusOneAdvantage® MBA Tuition-Free Scholarship Program, and a new Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship, the tuition guarantee complements Heidelberg’s strong student-value and high student-impact initiatives. The package promotes accessibility, affordability, student success, and student placement, all key drivers of Heidelberg’s core student mission. A new Heidelberg University 2022-2026 Strategic Growth Action Plan is nearing completion, under his leadership.
Kathy 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 the efforts of an entire team to work together toward our goal of moving Heidelberg forward,” she said. “The commitment to collaboration among the Board, senior leadership and the entire Heidelberg community helps Heidelberg rise. Stability at the presidential leadership 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 upcoming years.”
“I look forward to collaborating with all of our campus and community constituents as we roll out our bold and urgent strategic vision to guide our work in successfully fulfilling our Core Student Mission,” Rob said. “The stage is set for our continued transformation, innovation, differentiation and value over the next five years and beyond. It remains a privilege to lead Heidelberg, and I look ahead with great anticipation as our University continues to rise in so many important ways.”
Rob began as Heidelberg’s 14th president in July 2009. In their 13th 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 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 addition, he became a member of the Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors in 2020. 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, he 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 (OAC) on the NCAA Division III Presidents Advisory Group for seven years. This academic year, he is serving as president of the OAC Presidents Council.