November 14, 2019

Trustees extend Carter’s contract, name him president emeritus

Trustees extend Carter’s contract, name him president emeritus

Dr. Fred Carter has served as Francis Marion University’s president, and been the face of the growing University, for 20 years. 

The FMU Board of Trustees is making sure he’ll be around for a few more.

At Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the trustees voted unanimously to extend Carter’s contract through the 2025-26 academic year.

They also named him president emeritus. Carter and FMU founding president Dr. Doug Smith are the only presidents in FMU history to receive that honor.

Robert Lee, chair of FMU’s Board of Trustees, said the extension and its logical follow up means “Fred Carter is staying here.”

“This is where he belongs,” said Lee. “The impact he’s had on this place is really beyond words. He’s just transformed it. We want him to stay here, he wants to stay here and it will be a boon to FMU for him to be around for a long, long time to come. We’re all just delighted this is happening.”

Speaking of the president emeritus honor, Lee said, “that’s something we wanted to do, an honor that speaks the deep respect the trustees, and indeed, the entire FMU community, has for Dr. Carter. What he’s done for this university is just incredible.”

Carter, who is both the longest-serving college president at FMU and in South Carolina, said the board’s action was humbling.

“This is a magnanimous gesture on the part of chairman Lee and the board,” said Carter. “(Mrs. Carter) Folly and I are deeply appreciative.”

Carter’s contract was extended three years. That will take him through the 2025-26 academic year. At that point, he’ll have the option of returning to the faculty and resuming his academic work. Carter, who served on the faculties at the University of Central Florida and Western Kentucky,  and chaired the Department of Political Science at the College of Charleston, is the author of five books on political science and government.

Carter’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Central Florida. His graduate degrees (MPA and Ph.D.) are from the University of South Carolina. 

He was an infantry officer in the United States Marines and later, the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring with the rank of colonel.  He previously worked as a public administrator, served on the staff of two governors, and was the director of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board. 

Carter became FMU’s fourth president in 1999.