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Trustees Vote Today On Mark Huddleston as 19th UNH President

April 18, 2007

USNH Chancellor Stephen J. Reno announced that Dr. Mark Huddleston will be the next president of UNH, pending today’s formal vote of the USNH Board of Trustees. A reception for Huddleston will immediately follow.

Huddleston, the current president of Ohio Wesleyan University, would bring to UNH three decades of experience in public and private higher education as a faculty member, dean and senior administrator. If confirmed, he plans to assume the presidency in July 2007.

"Dr. Huddleston offers UNH a distinctive blend of vision, experience, and commitment. He is a sitting president at a well-respected private university who previously has served in increasingly responsible positions over 24 years at a large public university. He is a dedicated and recognized academic, and an individual who impressed the search committee and members of the UNH community with his vision for the university and his collaborative style of leadership," said Chancellor Reno.

Huddleston began his academic career at the State University of New York-Buffalo in 1977 as an assistant professor of political science. He then joined the faculty of the University of Delaware in 1980, where he remained for the next 24 years. Huddleston chaired the Department of Political Science and International Relations and served as associate provost for international programs. He was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2001, where he managed 45 academic departments and centers with nearly 900 fulltime faculty and staff, and served in that capacity until he was named president of Ohio Wesleyan University in 2004.

"I am thrilled - and deeply honored - to have been recommended as the next president of the University of New Hampshire. UNH is a very special place. It has cutting-edge research programs, outstanding faculty and staff, a diverse and talented student body, a great athletic tradition, and a strong ethic of service to the people of New Hampshire and the world beyond. Yet even with all of these assets, I am convinced that UNH's brightest days are still ahead," Huddleston said. "I feel immensely privileged to become part of this great institution," he added.

A search committee composed of 13 individuals representing faculty, students, and administrators, the Durham and Manchester communities, and the USNH Board of Trustees, has been working with a national search firm since last summer to help select the next president. They reviewed more than 100 applications since then. Huddleston was one of three finalists who participated in several public forums on campus with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members.

He completed his public visits in early April and prior to that held many private meetings with small groups and individuals on and off campus to help determine if he had the characteristics and the chemistry that would best serve the next president. The other two finalists visited UNH in December, but withdrew when the search committee decided to keep the search open and consider additional candidates.

The search committee met after Huddleston's public visits and advanced his candidacy to Reno for his consideration. The chancellor conducted his own review over the past few weeks and brought his recommendation of Huddleston to the Executive Committee of the USNH Board of Trustees on April 13th and received its unanimous endorsement.

"During all of our conversations, one-on-one and group meetings over the past few months, Dr. Huddleston has impressed individuals with his candor, honesty, and professionalism. He rose to the top of our candidate pool, and during his public meetings demonstrated why the search committee believed he was the best candidate to help lead UNH in the coming years," said Ed Dupont, the vice chair of the USNH Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee.

Huddleston received his bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY - Buffalo and received both a master's degree and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. An author of numerous books and articles, Dr. Huddleston has been active as a consultant for both the U.S. government and international organizations.

He also served as an advisor in Bosnia on rebuilding financial and administrative infrastructures after the Dayton accords. Huddleston was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. He and his wife, Emma Bricker, currently live at the president’s residence in Delaware, Ohio. They have three children, Andy, Kate, and Giles.

The full board of trustees will discuss his appointment during a non-public session at a special meeting of the board at on April 18th. Following the non-public session, the board will take a public vote and Huddleston will be on campus as the board introduces him to the UNH community as the 19th president of the institution.

The vote will occur at approximately 4:30 pm in the Piscataqua Room at Holloway Commons. The UNH community, the public and media are welcome to attend this event and Huddleston will be available to answer questions.

J. Bonnie Newman has been serving as interim president since the departure of former President Ann Weaver Hart in June 2006. While known nationally as a highly skilled senior government administrator, Newman has devoted many years of her career to higher education. This includes previous service at UNH as the assistant dean of students from 1969 to 1972, dean of students from 1972 to1978, interim dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics from 1998 to1999, and at Harvard University as executive dean of the Kennedy School from 2000 to 2005.

"We are extremely grateful for Bonnie Newman's stewardship over the past ten months and history of involvement with UNH. She once again stepped in when called upon and did a terrific job guiding and moving the University forward during this time, giving UNH both leadership and stability," said Andrew Lietz, chairman of the USNH Board of Trustees.

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