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President Mark Huddleston Delivers 2011 State of the University Address

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President Mark W. Huddleston delivers the State of the University address Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services.

The University of New Hampshire is emerging from a storm but remains unbroken, President Mark Huddleston said during his State of the University address delivered Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011.

“Even in stormy times, UNH demonstrates an incredible ability--and the agility--to forge ahead,” Huddleston said. He was referencing, in part, the $32.5 million cut made by New Hampshire Legislators earlier this year-- the steepest in the history of higher education in America.

The action led to layoffs and a hiring and salary freeze. Yet UNH continues to work its way out of the crisis and remains a university of choice, as evidenced by this year’s enrollment of 13,200 undergraduate students and more than 2,500 graduate students at the Durham, Manchester, and Concord campuses.

Huddleston cited numerous examples of the school’s accomplishments, another indication of its ability to withstand hard times. Included were:

  • The increase in the number of students enrolled in the January term, rising from 448 students the first year to 639 in year two.
  • The growth of e-learning online classes, with more than 2,100 students studying 88 courses in the past year, leading to plans to create a dedicated unit for e-UNH.
  • Breaking ground on the new Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, which will allow more students to attend UNH.
  • The 54 international students from eight countries enrolled at UNH through a partnership with the firm, Navitas, which provides opportunities for students to better their fluency in English while they complete the first year of a baccalaureate degree program.
  • The Confucius Institute, a new partnership with Chengdu University in China, offers students a full curriculum in Chinese language and culture. At a time when China is the third largest trading partner for New Hampshire, the institute provides opportunities not only for students but also for businesses in the state.
  • A planned trip this month by UNH representatives with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen as she leads a delegation of New Hampshire enterprises to India, where UNH will seek to develop new international partnerships.
  • The graduation in May of the first class from the new UNH School of Law graduated. The school has teamed up with the Whittemore School of Business and Economics to offer a dual JD and MBA degree program.
  • The continued securing of more federal research grants per capita for full-time UNH faculty than any other land-grant university in New England.  And the aggregate dollar figures for research funding continue to climb.
  • The partnering of the university with dozens of businesses, large and small.  UNH is helping to build new businesses and create new jobs by nurturing entrepreneurs through efforts such as the Green Launching Pad and the New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center.

The complete text of Huddleston’s speech can be read at http://www.unh.edu/president/sou2011.

Watch the speech.