Dr. Olufunke (Funke) Fontenot has over 40 years of experience in higher education, including 30 years of administrative and leadership experience at the college level, with service in department, college, and university-wide administrations. She has experience leading change, strategic planning, budgets, personnel management, international programs for faculty and students, diversity and inclusive excellence, program development, program review, assessment, and accreditation.
Dr. Fontenot has served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fort Valley State University since November 1, 2021. In this role, she provides direction for the Office of Academic Affairs, the hub of curricular and co-curricular student programming at the university. The Academic Affairs division encompasses the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, and the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences, and Technology. The division also houses the Office of the Registrar, Retention Services, the Hunt Memorial Library, Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness, and Quality Enhancement Plan, among other departments.
She joined Fort Valley State University in 2019, first serving as the interim chief of staff for the university, where she provided advice and counsel to the president, served as a liaison between the president and other officials and critical constituencies, and managed the Office of the President. Dr. Fontenot also ensured that projects and presidential strategic initiatives moved forward.
Dr. Fontenot previously served as the interim regional vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg (USF-P). In that position, she managed an academic affairs budget of over $36 million and had direct oversight responsibility for academic programs, faculty hiring, development, and tenure and promotion. Before USF-P, Dr. Fontenot served as associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Albany State University. At Georgia College and State University, where she worked for 14 years, Dr. Fontenot served in multiple roles, including associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, interim dean of the College of Education, interim chair of the Department of Government and Sociology, and interim chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Dr. Fontenot was a tenured full professor of criminal justice at Georgia College and State University and Albany State University. She also served in numerous leadership positions at Savannah State University and Claflin College.
Dr. Fontenot received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), in Ile-Ife Nigeria, a licensure to practice law from the Nigerian Law School, a Master of Letters in Law degree from Cambridge University (Cambridge, England), a Master of Law degree from Yale Law School (international law), and a Doctor of Education degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Fontenot has served on the boards of several nonprofit and educational organizations, including the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross. She serves on the EAB Research Advisory Board and APLU’s Council on Academic Affairs.