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Mark Huddleston named president of Ohio Wesleyan University

1:12 p.m., June 12, 2004--Mark W. Huddleston, dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Arts and Sciences since 2002, has been elected the 15th president of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Huddleston was named president following a meeting of the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees on Saturday morning, June 12. He succeeds Thomas Courtice, who held office for 10 years before retiring this summer.

Chartered in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with a national reputation for its blend of scholarship and teaching, service learning and student engagement. It has an enrollment of 1,850 students from 44 states and 45 countries, and has 135 full-time faculty members.

In its invitation to candidates, Ohio Wesleyan said it was seeking an energetic and creative president with presence and stature who is open to all people, and embraces ideas and discourse.

Ohio Wesleyan Board Chairperson Phil Meek made the announcement Saturday morning, shortly after the trustees voted their endorsement of the candidate recommended by the Presidential Search Committee following an aggressive national search.

"Mark Huddleston has displayed a consistent commitment of academic excellence throughout his career in higher education," Meek said. "He is committed to the teaching of the liberal arts in the special kind of environment that Ohio Wesleyan represents, and to expanding the financial resources of the University to support that effort.

"Both the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee are convinced that Dr. Huddleston will continue to move Ohio Wesleyan forward among the nation's leading liberal arts colleges," Meek said. "We welcome Mark, his wife Emma, and their three children into the Ohio Wesleyan family and eagerly await their arrival later this summer as residents of the Delaware [Ohio] community."

“All of us at the University of Delaware wish Mark Huddleston well as president of Ohio Wesleyan University,” UD President David P. Roselle said. “His administrative accomplishments at the University of Delaware have helped to make ours a better institution, and they clearly qualify him for his new and important position.”

Huddleston said he is excited about the opportunity to lead Ohio Wesleyan, which he said is “a fine institution with a long tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and with a very bright future.”

Still, he added, “It is with more than a little wistfulness that I will take leave of my many friends and colleagues at the University of Delaware. I have, after all, spent nearly my entire professional life at UD, and a part of me will always be there.”

Huddleston said he has been “privileged to have witnessed the profound transformation” of the University of Delaware during Roselle’s tenure and that he hopes to “carry at least a bit of that magic to Ohio Wesleyan.”

“What I will miss most is not being present, at least not physically and immediately, for the ending of some great stories at UD,” Huddleston said, citing “the construction of the Center for the Arts, the debut of the Paul R. Jones Collection this fall and, most of all, the hundreds of individual tales, all of them, for me, absorbing and consequential, that constitute the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Huddleston was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in July, 2002, following one year as acting dean.

Before becoming acting dean, Huddleston served as associate provost for international programs and special sessions. He previously served as chairperson and professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He also served as president of the University Faculty Senate during the 1999-2000 academic year.

Huddleston's academic specialty is public administration, a field in which he has published widely, focusing on the senior federal career service and a variety of international issues.

He has worked extensively in Bosnia and Kazakhstan for USAID and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He also has managed programs for the United States Information Agency in Slovenia, Mexico, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

A veteran of many UD study-abroad programs, Huddleston directed Winter Session programs in London and Brussels in 1982 and 1983 and in Geneva in 1987 and 1990.

In 1992, he co-founded UD’s Winter Session program in Merida, Mexico, and helped direct that program again in 1993, 1995 and 1998. Huddleston directed the spring semester in London in 1994 and, in 1995, founded the Summer Session program in London, which he also directed in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Huddleston joined the UD faculty as an assistant professor in 1980 after having taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo for three years.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Huddleston,53, is a native of Syracuse, N.Y. He and his wife, Emma Bricker, have three children: Andy, a rising junior at Brown University, Katherine (Kate), a rising eighth grader, and Giles, a rising fourth grader.

Huddleston expects to assume office some time in August.

Article by Neil Thomas
Photo by Kathy Atkinson

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