Heidelberg Board of Trustees extends President Huntington's contract
The Heidelberg University Board of Trustees has announced that, in accordance with the terms of President Robert H. Huntington’s 2024-2029 employment agreement, his contract has been extended an additional year.
Board Chair Kathleen Tirbovich Geier made the announcement following the Board’s fall meetings in October. Rob 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 2029.
Following the announcement on Saturday that Heidelberg is to embark upon the construction of a $28 million Student Athletics, Academic, and Recreation Center – the largest and one of the most transformational projects in Heidelberg’s history – Kathy continues to be impressed with Huntington’s leadership in guiding Heidelberg into the future.
Noting that the Student Athletics, Academic, and Recreation Center will realize one of the major initiatives of Heidelberg’s Strategic Growth Action Plan 2022-2026, which Huntington shepherded, she said the Board appreciates the president’s strong, consistent leadership.
“We have appreciated this opportunity, over the past 14-plus years, to partner with Rob on our shared mission to grow Heidelberg to meet the needs and demands of the next generation of alumni,” Kathy said. “Our goal is to make education affordable and accessible to all students and we are moving in the right direction.”
Progress cannot happen without strong leadership, she added. “Rob is urgently focused on the strategic, institutional goals of Heidelberg Value by gaining competitive market advantages; Enrollment Growth by expanding student educational opportunities; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by emphasizing efforts to make Heidelberg a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community; and Financial Sustainability by strengthening resilience for University sustainability.”
Under Rob’s leadership, Heidelberg has invested nearly $55 million since 2010 to complete 24 new construction and major renovation projects that have transformed the student and guest experience on campus. With the anticipated completion of the Student Athletics, Academic, and Recreation Center in the Fall of 2025, that total will soar to nearly $83 million.
Academically, Heidelberg has invested in multiple opportunities for traditional, transfer, and adult students to gain advantages in pursuing their higher education goals while also keeping costs low. The University just announced the launch of a new major in Data Analytics as well as a new initiative to offer the popular PlusOneAdvantage® MBA Scholarship Program fully online. The University is also making great strides in working to recruit more College Credit Plus students and simplify the process for associate’s degree-holding students who want to transfer to Heidelberg.
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, and other scholarships, the Tuition Guarantee complements Heidelberg’s strong student-value and high student-impact initiatives. In combination, these initiatives promote accessibility, affordability, student success, and student placement, all key drivers of Heidelberg’s core student mission.
“It’s critically important to us to make education affordable and accessible to all students,” Rob said. “That’s something that really matters to us.”
“In our day-to-day operations and in our collaboration across the campus, we continue to doggedly pursue the idea of transforming generations of students. We are committed to providing differentiated academic programming, excellent and innovative teaching, and holistic opportunities to ensure every student’s success, graduation, and preferred placement.”
The stage is set for students with a Heidelberg degree to reach their full personal and professional potential, Rob added. “I am uplifted by the energy on our campus. Our students are fully engaged in classes and extra-curricular activities. Our faculty and staff work hard every day to help students and Heidelberg succeed. Our alumni sustain and support our work and our vision in so many powerful ways. And our growing community partnerships help all of us rise together,” he said. “Onward and upward!”
Rob began as Heidelberg’s 14th president in July 2009. In their 15th 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 Directors of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and its Executive Committee and still serves on that board. 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, Rob 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 eight years. Rob has served as chair of the OAC Presidents Council twice since coming to Heidelberg.