CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Dondi E. Costin, Ph.D., to serve as the third president of Charleston Southern University.
Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. has provided the university with inspirational and transformative leadership for 34 years as CSU's second president and will transition to president emeritus on June 1, 2018.
Dr. Costin has a track record in key leadership positions with the U.S. Air Force, having obtained the rank of Major General in his 32 years of commissioned service. He currently serves at The Pentagon as Air Force Chief of Chaplains. As Chief of Chaplains, he is the senior pastor for more than 664,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas, and leads 2,000 chaplains and chaplain assistants from the Air Force Chaplain Corps.
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Dr. Costin graduated from The United States Air Force Academy in 1986 and will retire from the Air Force before assuming office this summer. A decorated combat veteran, he has deployed in support of numerous contingency and humanitarian relief operations across the globe and previously served as senior chaplain for Air Force operations both in the Pacific and the Middle East. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.
In addition to a bachelor's degree in operations research, Dr. Costin holds five master's degrees, a Doctor of Ministry degree, and a Ph.D. in organizational leadership. In a previous assignment, he taught courses in leadership, management, political science and military history as assistant professor of aerospace studies at Texas Christian University.
"Vickey and I could not be more thrilled to join the CSU family in its drive to develop leaders of character by integrating faith and learning in an environment of academic excellence. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of CSU's legendary president, Dr. Jairy Hunter, who has transformed Charleston Southern into the jewel it is today. I look forward to leading this team to build upon the firm foundation he has laid, in hopes that--with God's help--the best is yet to come," said Dr. Costin.
The selection and announcement followed a nationwide search process led by executive search firm CarterBaldwin Executive Search of Atlanta, Ga. The 17-member search committee --comprised of trustees, alumni, students, faculty, staff, athletics, external relations and development personnel -- reviewed 200 applications. The committee was impressed with Dr. Costin's international leadership experience, solid academic credentials, strategic planning and problem-solving skills, and passion for the faith.
"The search committee selected Dr. Dondi Costin from over 60 qualified candidates," said Dr. Jerry Williams, chairman of the search committee and chairman of the Board of Trustees. "The committee unanimously agreed to recommend Dr. Costin because of his passion to lead the university in accomplishing its vision of integrating faith in learning, leading and serving. We believe he is the right fit for our university, and everyone is confident that he will take CSU to the next level of excellence."
CSU President-elect Costin will assume office effective July 1, 2018.
For Dr. Costin's full bio, headshot, announcement video, and photos, click here.
About Charleston Southern University: Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. With an enrollment of 3,575 students, CSU is South Carolina's largest accredited, independent university and has been recognized as one of America's Best Christian Colleges, America's 100 Best College Buys, U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs, U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans, Colleges of Distinction, VA Yellow Ribbon Program and a Military Friendly School. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, CSU offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Students can learn online or in the classroom. The university's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.