NGU News

NGU President Confirmed to South Carolina Higher Education Commission 

Posted on: June 23, 2023
By Larry Stoudenmire,

Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., President of NGU, unanimously confirmed by South Carolina Senate for Higher Education Commission nomination by Governor McMaster.
Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., President

Tigerville, SC––The South Carolina Senate voted unanimously on June 14 to confirm North Greenville University (NGU) President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., to serve on the South Carolina Higher Education Commission. Fant was nominated by the Hon. Henry D. McMaster, Governor of South Carolina. 

Established in 1967, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education is the coordinating board for the state’s 33 public institutions of higher learning. According to the commission’s website, the entity “acts both as an oversight entity on behalf of the General Assembly, and an advocate for the citizens of South Carolina as they seek opportunities to improve their lives, and those of their families, through higher education.” 

The commission is governed by a 15-member board appointed by the governor. Fant will serve a two-year term, representing South Carolina’s independent higher learning institutions.  

“It is an honor and privilege to be selected for the South Carolina Higher Education Commission,” Fant said. “I am deeply committed to promoting educational excellence and access for all students in our state. I look forward to collaborating with fellow commission members to address the challenges and opportunities facing higher education and to work together toward a brighter future for South Carolina’s students.” 

With a 29-year career in higher education, Fant has served in faculty and administrative posts at both public and private institutions. Prior to becoming NGU’s eighth president in June 2017, Fant was the chief academic officer at Palm Beach Atlantic University for three years. His breadth of experience in the sector includes service on the boards of varied academic organizations.  

The Laurel, MS, native worked with the Mississippi Institute on Law-Related Education at the University of Southern Mississippi before serving as assistant to the president at the public research university. He was a faculty member and chair of the English Department at Mississippi College before beginning a 12-year tenure at Union University, which concluded with four years as chief academic officer. 

A prolific writer, President Fant has been a contributing blogger and essayist for The Chronicle of Higher Education since 2001 and has written more than 150 columns for newspapers and other publications. He alsohas written or contributed to more than a dozen books.  

Dr. Fant earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from James Madison University, a master’s degree in English from Old Dominion University, a master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and both the Ph.D. degree in English Literature and the master of education in educational leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2011, he completed the Institute in Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  

In addition to these positions, Fant was one of the original curriculum developers of the Impact 360 Institute, an intellectually rigorous gap year program in service, leadership, and worldview sponsored by a foundation connected to Chick-fil-A. He currently serves on the institute’s board of education.  

He also serves as commissioner for the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission and is chair-elect for the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, treasurer for the International Alliance for Christian Education, vice-chair of the Board of Directors and chair of the President’s Council for South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and a member of the Conference Carolinas Board of Directors. He also has served on several accreditation review committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools—Commission on Colleges. 

“We are thrilled that Dr. Fant has been confirmed to serve on the South Carolina Higher Education Commission. This is a well-deserved recognition of his exceptional leadership and commitment to higher education,” said NGU Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Brian Spearman. “As chair of the Board of Trustees, I have witnessed firsthand his unwavering dedication to our university and his tireless efforts to advance academic excellence. We are confident that he will bring his expertise and passion to this role, shaping the future of higher education in South Carolina.” 

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