September 18, 2023 – CarterBaldwin Executive Search has has assisted in the recruitment of B. Keith Faulkner as the fourth president of Charleston Southern University (CSU). The selection followed an extensive nationwide search led by CarterBaldwin, the same executive search firm that landed outgoing president Dondi Costin at CSU five years prior. Chaired by Jerry Williams, a former trustee board chair, and Judy Hetz, current board chair, the 12-member presidential search committee was comprised of trustees, former trustees, alumni, and employees representing areas such as academics, student success, alumni engagement, and athletics.
Ms. Hetz said that the committee’s primary requirement in selecting a candidate was an individual who held a demonstrable history of living the Christian faith as a believer in Jesus Christ as their Savior. According to Ms. Hetz, the search for a person with a deep faith was the “undergirding and motivating factor” for their leadership skills.
“We were blessed with many qualified candidates; however, the uniqueness of Keith Faulkner’s combination of receiving his degrees at Christian institutions and working at Christian colleges first as a professor and then as a dean at the world’s largest Christian college equipped him to understand the day-to-day challenges of our faculty and staff,” said Ms. Hetz. “Faulkner is a prime example of the quality of Christian education that Charleston Southern provides students. Graduates leave CSU with the skills needed to pursue successful careers and live lives of integrity as they serve their fellow man, displaying Christ’s love in the workplace, community, and home.”
With 20 years of higher education experience, Mr. Faulkner currently serves as president and dean of Appalachian School of Law in Virginia. Prior to this, he served as the dean of Liberty University School of Law and the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business at Campbell University. He also served as interim dean at Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Noting Mr. Faulkner’s experience in strengthening every institution in which he has served, Ms. Hetz pointed to Faulkner’s time at Liberty where he doubled law school enrollment in five years and achieved a 95 percent bar passage rate.
Mr. Faulkner led Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business as dean and professor of business. He served in other roles l at the law school including associate dean for external relations, executive associate dean for academic and administrative affairs, vice dean for administration and external relations, and interim dean of the university’s School of Law. Earlier in his career, Mr. Faulkner practiced law in the areas of insurance defense, criminal defense, estate planning, family law, and real estate litigation and transactions. From 1989 to 1997, he served in the U.S. Navy where he was a nuclear power plant operator and technician.
“The responsibility of leading is one that I take with great seriousness and humility,” Mr. Faulkner said. “I am a good listener, and I am anxious to hear from our alumni about how they believe that we can improve CSU together. Serving a cause and a place that you love is an opportunity like no other, and I commit to work hard every day to expose the light of CSU to any and all who will see it. Due in large part to the exceptional leadership of all who have gone before me and a board of trustees who sincerely believe in our mission, CSU has grown and flourished over the decades since its faithful beginnings. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and their faithfulness and stewardship along with God’s abiding love have positioned CSU for even greater heights.”
Charleston Southern University is an independent, comprehensive Christian university grounded in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Founded as the Baptist College at Charleston in 1964 upon the principle that students should have an opportunity for a quality education under the guidance of Christian faculty, the institution changed its name to Charleston Southern University in 1990 to reflect the offering of graduate programs. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.
Serving Domestic and International Clients
Since CarterBaldwin’s inception in 2001, the search firm has expanded its client portfolio to include non-profit and academic sectors, serving both domestic and international clients from its headquarters in Atlanta, GA and the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. CarterBaldwin is listed among a variety of rankings published by Hunt Scanlon Media, including its Top 50, Private Equity Power 100, and Top 40 Higher Education Search Firms.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media