NH News
3:20 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Live Blog: UNH President Mark Huddleston

9:56: Huddleston on UNH School of Law, “It’s been a wonderful partnership so far,” two joint degree programs so far, our faculty have been working on research projects.”  

9:51: On money from collegiate athletics, Huddleston says college sports for overwhelming majority of schools is a “huge money loser.” Says only a handful of institutions able to generate revenue from programs. Hockey and football at UNH “make a little money” for the school.

9:50: Huddleston says UNH has had to explore public/private partnerships because of cuts to budget.

9:45: On serving nontraditional students, Huddleston says it can difficult for adults in full-time work to enroll in the programs of their choice.  “You can’t offer labs around the clock or online,” but have offered increased number of programs online on during night. Says Granite State College does good job of serving those students who need that flexibility.

9:44: Huddleston says on community colleges, we serve the same mission, but in different ways. “We’re different sides of the same coin” when it comes to work force in the state.  

9:41: Huddleston says supporters of UNH becoming vocal, “People are no longer sitting by passively and letting these things happen.”  

9:37: Huddleston says, “We tried to shield students from worst effects of the budget cuts,” which means some students may not have even realized they happened. Tuition could have been raised more, but we had to look elsewhere.  

9:35: On salaries of administrators and coaches, “Would be surprised if salaries had risen that much,” when caller said they’ve risen by 50 percent in a decade. Salaries across the board less than many of their peers. “I have to pay people market rates.”

9:30: Huddleston says, “I don’t think that whatever the value you place on higher education” absolves us of responsibility to keep being imaginative and be cost effective.”  

9:27: On whether college is still worth investment, “I don’t think everyone has to go to college to have a good life.” But as an economic fact, “college is still a good investment.” Those who go still earn more, but must work on the debt issue.

9:26: Huddleston says foreign students “absolutely not” taking seats of NH students.  “We have a commitment to take every qualified New Hampshire student.”  

9:25: Huddleston says UNH needs to be a “university of choice,” we should use all 365 days and 24/7.   

9:22: On keeping cost of higher education low, “It will require multiple approaches to try to resolve it.” We’ve tried to keep our costs as low as possible, but also need to convince lawmakers that it’s worth the investment. Heading over to State House after Exchange appearance to do just that. Must also offer students choice, to move through more quickly, perhaps online or going to community college first to reduce cost.   

9:18: Huddleston says, “We live in a knowledge economy.” “Try to imagine a state in which there was no university producing…those workers.” You can’t do it, would be very bleak.  

9:17: Huddleston says there needs to be a partnership with state, concerned about adversarial approach, that what UNH is doing is contrary to the mission of the state. “Nothing can be further from the truth.”  

9:15: On getting 6 percent of funding from the state, “Every little bit helps.” It can make the difference between families being able to afford going to UNH. “There’s a principle at stake.” Higher education is a “public good,” it helps the whole state.   

9:14: Huddleston says despite cuts, quality of education hasn’t been impacted. “We went through a program by program review” after cuts, but we haven’t eliminated any programs entirely. “We’re already a very lean institution.”  

9:11: On cuts in current budget, “We had to lay people off, some people lost their jobs, we had to make compromises in other areas.” Restoration of funds would allow us to make good on commitment to freeze tuition.  

9:10: Huddleston says news of subcommittee cutting $12 million restoration funds is “disappointing.” “I don’t think this discussion is done;” the budget that will come out of the Senate will look different. If funding isn’t completely restored, can you still freeze tuition? “I don’t know the answer to that yet.” We have fundamental responsibility to keep costs low.

9:07: Governor Maggie Hassan has proposed restoring 90 percent of the University System of New Hampshire funding that was cut in the current budget.

9:06: Call with your questions at 1-800-892-6477. You can also email comments to exchange@nhpr.org.  

9:05. The total cost of attending UNH this year for in-state students is $26,186. That includes room and board. For out of state students, it's $38,646.

9:01: We’re about to get underway with our live blog of Mark Huddleston, the 19th president of the University of New Hampshire. Huddleston appears this morning on The Exchange.