By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer
After 10 years of work as the vice president of student and academic services, Mark Rubinstein will be making the move from the University of New Hampshire to Granite State College at the end of March to serve as their president.

“Mark has been an outstanding contributor at UNH. His experience has well prepared him to serve students, faculty staff and alumni,” said University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board Chair Pamela Diamantis in a press release. “The unanimous vote by the board recognizes Mark’s outstanding performance at UNH. We are very excited to have him assume the presidency of Granite State College.“

Though it was the board at USNH that made the ultimate choice to appoint him as president of the college, he said that he made the tough choice to go for the position after becoming intrigued by the opportunity.

“…The opportunity at Granite State College was incredibly compelling and I am excited by the challenge,” Rubinstein said. “To the extent that this also allows me to remain a part of the University System of New Hampshire, to continue to work on issues of quality, affordability and access, and to continue to build partnerships both within the University System and with the community college system makes the opportunity that much better for me.”

Located in Concord, Granite State College is a public state university that offers associates, bachelors and masters degree programs. Though similar to UNH, Rubinstein said that this college will be a much different experience, with the average age of students being 34 and most of them “part-time, working adults.”

Rubinstein also said that another difference is the fact that more than half the classes are offered through online platforms.

Though the new role may pose some challenges at first and his new responsibilities will take some getting used to, Rubinstein said he believes he’s ready.

“There will be a lot for me to learn at Granite State College and one of my personal challenges will be to not assume that strategies that have been appropriate and effective at UNH are the right ones for Granite State College,” he said. “Fortunately, as was true when I arrived at UNH and found a group of outstanding people who helped me to understand the culture and the needs of this university, I am joining an outstanding team at GSC who can help me to become effective in that setting.”

Before acquiring his current role as vice president, Rubinstein had served as vice provost for academic achievement and enrollment management from 1998 until 2003, when he made the switch. During his time at UNH, Rubinstein has overseen many aspects of past and present student life by doing things like helping to organize alumni events and working with the student body government.

“In all of his leadership roles, Mark has served UNH students, faculty and alumni with distinction, deep thoughtfulness and selfless dedication,” said UNH President Mark Huddleston in an email announcement to students sent out on Friday, Feb. 6.

For Rubinstein, the best part of his job is not just working with the students, but also seeing the support that others at UNH give them as well.

“People who help students to translate their passions and their strengths into majors and career paths; people who help students to manage through personal or financial or health-related challenges to remain enrolled; colleagues who support student development and growth through experiences in leadership and service; faculty who engage our students—at both the undergraduate and graduate levels—and treat them as emerging scholars,” Rubinstein said. “There really isn’t a corner of the university where I haven’t found a focus on students.”

When asked what message he had for students before he left, Rubinstein echoed this theme of encouragement.

“To quote Ferris Bueller, ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,’” he said.

UNH is currently in the midst of a nationwide search from someone to fill Rubinstein’s position, according to the email that Huddleston sent out. There are no specific details on the timetable of the search or potential successors.