Charleston Southern University president Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. has been recognized as the 2016 Distinguished Business Officer by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The award is given annually to “recognize outstanding achievement in the field of business and financial management in higher education.”
Dr. Ronald L. Rhames, president of Midlands Tech University, who formally nominated Charleston Southern University’s president for the honor stated, “Dr. Hunter’s passion and personal commitment to the profession of the business officer and his strong belief in the professional development of the business officer make him most deserving.”
Hunter is recognized as “a trailblazer” as one of the first chief business officers in higher education to matriculate to the presidency of a university. “He is a proven leader as a chief business officer and a university president,” said Charles King, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at James Madison University. “His knowledge of higher education administration and his unique ability to relate his own experiences has inspired hundreds of business professionals to excel in their university positions.”
Hunter, who was honored at the NACUBO annual meeting July 16-19 in Montreal, Canada, began his career in higher education at Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina, where he served as vice president for business. Hunter later returned to his alma mater, Appalachian State University as dean of student support services and professor of higher education and management.
He continued to rise through the ranks as vice president for administration at Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as vice chancellor for business affairs, vice chancellor for development and professor of accounting.
In 1984, Hunter was named president and professor of management at Charleston Southern University. His vision and leadership have been vital in the growth that has garnered national recognition as one of America’s Best Christian Colleges, U.S. News and World Report Best Online Program, Military Friendly College, and President’s Honor Roll for Community Service.
During his tenure, enrollment has tripled, making CSU one of the largest private, accredited universities in South Carolina.
“Dr. Hunter has always had the perspective of a business leader,” said J.B. Farley, president, Washburn University. “He has led innovative initiatives emulated by other Business Officers. Many in higher education credit Dr. Hunter and his business acumen for CSU’s current financial trajectory.”
“Dr. Hunter has been the most energetic CEO that I have observed over my years in business,” added Jerry Williams, retired banker and chairman of Charleston Southern’s Board of Trustees. “He has faithfully led the university, and this distinction is well deserved as it was voted on by his peers. It has been my pleasure and extreme joy to work with an individual with the talents Dr. Hunter possesses.”
Throughout his career, Hunter has made significant contributions to the business officer profession, serving as a leader for NACUBO, teaching at the College Business Management Institute (CBMI) at the University of Kentucky and the Western Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (WACUBO) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has presented countless seminars, key note speeches and lectures for NACUBO organizations.
“As a graduate, and a trustee of Charleston Southern, I have seen firsthand the remarkable leadership that Dr. Hunter has consistently provided through the years,” added CSU Board of Trustee Bill Carpenter. “His conservative values have provided a firm foundation, which has transformed CSU into a financially sound university that is nationally recognized. People – students, employees, professors, coaches, business and community leaders – are drawn to his enthusiasm and desire for excellence, as evidenced by his success and the success of those around him.”
Hunter has served as a commissioner for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). He has served as president of the Big South Athletic Conference and numerous community and economic development leadership boards including the Bank of America, SCANA Corporation, Trident United Way, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Charleston Executive Economic Leadership Council, the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA).
“As a private sector business leader, I am continually impressed by Dr. Hunter's pro-active and thoughtful leadership in assuring that Charleston Southern University is a pivotal player in our region's business community as he shepherds the school's efforts both externally and internally,” said Bryan S. Derreberry, President & CEO, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce . “Jairy is also an astute integrator of our region's top business and professional leaders.”
Hunter earned an associate degree from Wingate University in accounting, a bachelor's degree in economics and business, a master's degree in student personnel and a master's in economics and business from Appalachian State University. He holds a PhD in educational administration and management from Duke University.
Dr. Hunter and his wife Sissy are active members at Summerville Baptist Church in Summerville, South Carolina. Hunter has been recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from Appalachian State University and Wingate University. In 2009, he also received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina.
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers across the country and around the world. NACUBO specifically represents chief business and financial officers through advocacy efforts, community service, and professional development activities. The association's mission is to advance the economic viability and business practices of higher education institutions in fulfillment of their academic missions. For more information, visit www.nacubo.org.
ABOUT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The University’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.