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Charleston Southern begins Jairy Hunter’s transition

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) — Jairy C. Hunter Jr., president of Charleston Southern University for the past 34 years, will transition to the position of president emeritus on June 1, 2018, the university has announced.

CSU, in a statement posted March 28, said, “Over the past two years, the Board of Trustees and President Hunter have collaborated and developed a Succession Plan to ensure that the University continues to thrive and operate smoothly.”

Charleston Southern is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

As president emeritus, Hunter, 75, will “provide consulting and assistance in key areas such as strategic planning, external relations, resource development, enrollment and financial affairs” and will continue to teach in the graduate school of business, the university said.

The search process for Hunter’s successor will begin in February 2018.

Trustee chairman Jerry Williams, in the CSU statement, credited Dr. Hunter with “visionary leadership, tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to Christian higher education [that] literally has transformed CSU into one of the best Christian Universities in the country.”

Hunter, meanwhile, said he is “gratified that during my tenure thousands of students have received an excellent education in a Christian environment.” Enrollment during Hunter’s service at CSU has climbed from 1,600 to 3,650 students.

In addition to serving as president, Hunter is professor of management at the Charleston, S.C., campus. He was honored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers as the 2016 distinguished business officer, given annually for business and financial management in higher education.

“Dr. Hunter has been the most energetic CEO that I have observed over my years in business,” Williams, a retired banker, said when Hunter received the award in June 2016. “He has faithfully led the university, and this distinction is well deserved as it was voted on by his peers.”

Prior to his tenure at CSU, Hunter had served as vice chancellor for business affairs, vice chancellor for development and professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; vice president for administration at Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale; vice president for business at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, N.C.; and dean of student support services and professor of higher education and management at Appalachian State University.

Hunter is a native of Lancaster, S.C., who holds a Ph.D. in educational administration and management from Duke University and master’s degrees in student personnel and in economics and business and an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University.