Office of the President
9200 University Blvd., N. ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥, SC 29406
Meet ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥’s Fourth President
B. Keith Faulkner, JD, LLM, MBA
B. Keith Faulkner was appointed the fourth President of ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Southern University on July 26, 2023.
Faulkner earned his Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration from Campbell Universityâ€™s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He also holds an LLM in litigation management from Baylor University School of Law. In 1998, he graduated with honors from ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Southern University, with a BS in business administration-finance emphasisâ€”where he won the Outstanding Business Administration Student Award that same year. He 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 submarineâ€”the USS Billfish. Already built to be a ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Buccaneer living on the high seas, his longest stay under water was almost two months.
Before being selected president of ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥, Faulkner had 20 years of higher education experience; he served 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 Universityâ€™s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Over his career, he and his teams have launched online programs, developed innovative partnerships with industry, enjoyed success in fundraising, and many other notable accomplishments.
A native of Montgomery County, North Carolina, Faulkner and his high school sweetheart, Patty, have been married for 31 years. They have three children: Hannah, Erin, and Ryan.
- How does it feel to lead your alma mater?
The opportunity to serve one’s alma mater in any capacity is something to be cherished. Since graduating from ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥, it has always held a special place in my heart. Attending first as a night student while serving in the Navy and then as a commuting regular day student until graduation, I was able to see a broader picture of the entire university. Having attended and led undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at three different schools – different in size, scope, and mission – has allowed me to gauge my experience at ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ against that at other schools. ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ has always risen to the top.
- What experiences have best prepared you to lead ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥?
Being a first-generation high school graduate in my family has shown me how pivotal an education really is. Education done right – like at ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ Southern University – transforms lives. My time in the service (U.S. Navy) helped me to understand the need for excellence in everything that we do, and it emphasizedÂ the importance of integrity. I gained an appreciation of the power of a team. My law school and business school experiences revealed the beauty of being pushed harder academically than I had ever been pushed before. The analytical and critical thinking skills honed in law school particularly have helped me to be a better thinker, writer, and advocate.
My time in Christian higher education has helped me to see the power of Christ in unifying all things. Faith and inquiry are not at odds but are clarified and unified through Him. I have been privileged to serve as the dean of three law schools and a business school. These experiences have shown me that developing students – academically, professionally, personally, and spiritually – is what excites me. I really enjoyed practicing law, but I love being a professor, dean, and president because our team is training the next generation of servant leaders to go out and fulfill the Great Commission.
My faith journey has shown me the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and fully trusting in the Trinity is the key to success in all aspects of life.
- What do you hope to accomplish in your time as president of ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥?
At the outset, as president I want to serve the ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ community. I believe that my role as president is to lead and create the climate for success for students, faculty and staff, athletics, and alumni. In order to succeed, it takes a team. ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥â€™s team is defined by faithfulness and excellence. Our team will evaluate opportunities to improve and expand by using our mission as the lens through which we make decisions. And once decisions are made, we will execute them with excellence and precision.
It is my intention to work with the team to bring some long-awaited projects to completion – namely the construction of a convocation center and the successful completion of our Limitless Campaign. Other priorities will be growing our student body, expanding and strengthening academic programs, developing innovative partnerships, expanding missions, focusing on career outcomes and possibilities for our graduates and students, improving campus culture, and improving the physical and fiscal landscape of the university. All of this takes imagination, planning, execution, and faith.
Our team’s focus will be delivering a first class experience to our community at every level. As your president, I can promise that I will get up every day focused on making ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥ a first-choice university for every prospective student and a place where every alumnus can become even more proud to have attended.
With Christ serving as not only our cornerstone, but also as our entire foundation, ÎçÒ¹¿ì²¥’s future is indeed Limitless.