Mark Huddleston knows all about The Fish.
Not that it's a prerequisite, but Huddleston was a hockey fan before he got the job as UNH's 19th president, and was familiar with the practice of Wildcat fans throwing a dead fish on the ice after scoring the first goal of a game.
The current Ohio Wesleyan University president, who takes over for Interim President J. Bonnie Newman in early summer, grew up in a family that talked hockey. "Yes, I'm a fan," Huddleston says. "I was never very good at it, but I love the sport. When I was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I cherished having those hockey tickets."
The UW alum was appointed in April by the University System of New Hampshire following a national search. He has been the president of Ohio Wesleyan since 2004, and prior to that served as dean of the University of Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences.
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 University of Delaware in 1980, where he remained for the next 24 years, chairing the political science and international relations department and serving as associate provost for international programs. He earned a bachelor's degree from SUNY Buffalo and a master's degree and Ph.D., all in political science, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Dr. Huddleston offers UNH a distinctive blend of vision, experience and commitment. 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 USNH Chancellor Stephen Reno.
"I am thrilled--and deeply honored--to have been recommended as the next president," said Huddleston after his appointment. "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. Yet even with all of these assets, I am convinced that UNH's brightest days are still ahead. I feel immensely privileged to become part of this great institution."
The author of numerous books and articles, Huddleston has been a consultant for both the U.S. government and international organizations. He also served as an advisor in Bosnia on rebuilding infrastructures after the Dayton accords.
Huddleston is no relation to the late Eric Huddleston, UNH architect, although the coincidence may make it easier for alumni to remember the new president's name. He and his wife, Emma Bricker, and two of their three children, Kate, 15, and Giles, 11, will live in Durham while the president's house is renovated. Their son Andy, a graduate of Brown University, will start graduate school at Princeton in the fall.
The new president says his first priority is to "get out and meet folks" and become a visible presence on campus. Huddleston is also looking forward to meeting and talking to graduates: "It's a real treat to see a university through the eyes of its alumni."Return to UNH Magazine Campus Currents