Since being elected president in 2007, Mark W. Huddleston has helped guide university-wide success in academics, research, physical infrastructure and admissions, and directed UNH’s largest fundraising campaign ever, launched in 2016 to celebrate the university’s 150th anniversary. A first-generation college student, he is a lifelong advocate for making college more affordable, innovative and responsive in meeting the needs of students, society and the economy.
President Huddleston has three decades of experience in public and private higher education as a faculty member, dean and leader, including more than a dozen years as president of two universities. He has also served extensively as a consultant on international finance and governance issues in Central America, Asia, Africa and throughout the Balkans.
Early in his tenure at UNH, he initiated community-wide conversations to reimagine the university’s strategic response to dynamic changes emerging in the nation’s higher education landscape. Accomplishments this process inspired include:
- The 2017 introduction of the Granite Guarantee, which provides free tuition to all in-state students who are eligible for federal Pell grants.
- Record and near-record student enrollments the past three years, reflecting effective outreach to new markets, an influx of international students and a commitment to keeping UNH tuition affordable.
- An increase in private philanthropy of more than 250 percent since 2011.
- The expansion and relocation of the UNH Manchester campus, along with new academic programs and partnerships with New Hampshire businesses and K-12 public schools.
- The creation of the UNH School of Law in Concord, ranked among the nation’s top 10 schools for the study of intellectual property law.
- The formation of the UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, considered a global leader in ocean mapping, oil spill remediation and research in ocean energy and sustainable fisheries.
- The construction of the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics, where innovative academic and research opportunities give students a tremendous head start on careers and advanced degrees – with a 96 percent undergraduate placement rate.
- The launch of UNH Innovation to provide businesses and entrepreneurs with easy, direct access to UNH research, faculty experts, student talent, technology and facilities.
- The opening of a newly expanded football stadium, which has nearly doubled seating capacity.
Today, these achievements are inspiring unprecedented support for “Celebrate 150: The Campaign for UNH,” introduced in 2016 with a goal of raising $275 million by July 2018. The campaign challenges donors to support UNH in five strategic areas: student access and affordability; academic and related programs; intellectual enterprise; faculty excellence; and campus infrastructure.
President Huddleston was raised in Syracuse, N.Y. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York-Buffalo, and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his wife, Emma, have three children — Andrew, Katherine and Giles.