Campus wide

Costin called to new assignment

By Jenna Johnson | March 31, 2023

In a letter to the Charleston Southern community earlier today, Dr. Dondi Costin announced that he has been called to a new assignment and will serve as CSU president through June 30, 2023. He has been named the next president of Liberty University.

President Dr. Dondi Costin serves as the third president of Charleston Southern University. He has been named the next president of Liberty University and will serve CSU through June 30, 2023. Photo by Ty Cornett

“Without exception, Vickey and I love absolutely everything about CSU,” said Costin. “Accepting God’s call to a new assignment has been one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make, but we committed decades ago to move wherever the Lord sent us. As difficult as it will be to leave the greatest trustees, senior leaders, faculty, staff, students, and supporters on the planet, we know that God has issued a new set of orders, and we have no choice but to follow His lead.”     

Charleston Southern has flourished as an unapologetically Christian university under Costin’s leadership, which featured a visionary strategic plan and the university’s award-winning response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. He helped launch the university’s first two doctoral programs, the state’s only four-year aviation program, an engineering department consisting of an engineering major with three concentrations, the Dewey Center for Chaplaincy, and the Strack Center for Global Leadership and Ministry.

Costin also oversaw construction of the first residence hall in 30 years, a state-of-the-art engineering and science building, a world class addition to the health science building, a new student center, renovation of the CSU campus store, expansion of the campus coffee shop, and the finest intramural complex in the state. 

Under his leadership the Limitless Campaign set CSU records for annual giving, one-year campaign giving, and Giving Day totals, while establishing the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business as CSU’s first named college. In addition, new student enrollment increased 20 percent during his tenure, and CSU Athletics enjoyed its best year in university history, finishing third in the Big South Conference Sasser Cup competition while attaining a 3.14 student-athlete cumulative GPA.

Dr. Judy Hetz, chairwoman of the CSU board of trustees, said that “God knew exactly what CSU needed when He sent Dr. Costin as CSU’s third president. He and Vickey have been the perfect leaders for Charleston Southern in every way. It is no surprise that the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce recognized CSU as its 2022 Business of the Year during their time at the helm. We will miss them far more than I can express, but the next president will be greatly blessed by the momentum we now enjoy because Dondi and Vickey sacrificed so much in equipping our students to impact the world for the sake of the gospel.”       

To capitalize on this mounting momentum, the CSU board of trustees has retained CarterBaldwin Executive Search to lead the search for Charleston Southern’s fourth president. CarterBaldwin partner Bill Peterson will facilitate the search. Nominations and recommendations can be sent to him beginning immediately at bpeterson@carterbaldwin.com.  

The board also voted this week to appoint CSU trustee Jerry Williams as search committee chairman, along with a slate of 10 others. Williams, who led the search committee that landed Costin, will lead the charge as this search committee seeks God’s choice to become CSU’s fourth president. The full search committee includes the following 11 members:

  • Dr. Jerry Williams, Trustee and Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (Search Committee Chairman)
  • Dr. Judy Hetz, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees
  • Mr. Ron Brantley, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • Mr. Bill Carpenter ‘84, Secretary of the Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Ken Evans, Former Trustee and Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees
  • Mr. Dean Murphy, Trustee
  • Mr. Jeff Barber, Director of Athletics
  • Dr. Michael Bryant ‘95, Vice President for Strategic Planning, Faith Integration, and Christian Leadership
  • Mrs. Denise Dawson ‘93, Director of Alumni Engagement
  • Dr. Scott Yarbrough, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Tony Turner, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing


“We look forward to meeting the one God chooses to lead as CSU’s next president,” said Hetz. “As Dr. Costin often reminds us, the best is yet to come.”


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