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Charleston Southern University selects new president

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Charleston Southern University has turned to one of its own to be the university’s fourth president.

Keith Faulkner was named the fourth president of Charleston Southern University.The university trustees unanimously approved and announced the appointment of B. Keith Faulkner to the post on July 26. Faulkner, a 1998 Charleston Southern alumnus, will begin in early October. 

Board of Trustees Chair Judy Hetz, who co-chaired the search committee, said they conducted a national search for a leader with deep faith.

With 20 years of higher education experience, Faulkner currently serves as president and dean of Appalachian School of Law in Virginia, according to a news release from Charleston Southern. Prior to that position, 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. Over his career, he and his teams have launched online programs, developed partnerships with industry, and conducted fundraising efforts. 

“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,” Hetz said in the news release. “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." 

Faulkner said he looks forward to serving his alma mater.

“The responsibility of leading is one that I take with great seriousness and humility,” he stated in the release. “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.” 

Faulkner earned his Juris Doctor degree and an MBA from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He also has an LLM in litigation management from the Baylor University School of Law. In 1998, he graduated from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration-finance emphasis, where he won the Outstanding Business Administration Student Award that same year. 

Faulkner was a first-generation college student and also the first in his family to graduate high school. A native of Montgomery County, N.C., he entered the Navy after high school graduation and was first brought to Charleston by the Naval Nuclear Power School.

From 1989 to 1997, Faulkner served in the U.S. Navy where he worked as a nuclear power plant operator and technician. For four of those years, his responsibilities were aboard a fast-attack nuclear powered submarine—the USS Billfish.

Before entering higher education, Faulkner practiced law in the areas of insurance defense, criminal defense, estate planning, family law, and real estate litigation and transactions. 

Reach Ross Norton at [email protected] or 864-642-5229.

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