Andy Benoit, Lander University vice president for Enrollment and Access Management, is leaving his post to take a similar position at Texas A&M — Corpus Christi.
Benoit’s last day at Lander will be Friday, August 30. A national search for his successor is underway.
Benoit was Lander’s first vice president for Enrollment and Access Management, and he will be the first staff member to have that title at his new school as well.
Enrollment at Lander increased more than 18 percent during Benoit’s three and a half years on the job. One of the largest enrollments on record — 3,053 students — was recorded during his watch, and he expects enrollment for the coming academic year to top that.
Lander’s enrollment increases have been driven in part by large freshman classes. Two years ago, Lander had its largest freshman class ever. Last year, a new record was set, a trend that Benoit expects to continue this fall.
“I’m also very proud that we have increased the academic standard of our incoming classes. They are stronger than they’ve ever been academically,” he said.
Benoit, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McNeese State University, and did doctoral work at Louisiana State University, is a native of Louisiana, and the opportunity to move closer to family was part of the attraction of his new job.
“It’s only about five hours from where I’m from originally, so that’s important,” he said.
Benoit oversaw 35 full-time employees at Lander. He will be in charge of well more than that at Texas A&M — Corpus Christi, a school with almost 10,000 undergraduate and 2,800 graduate students.
Growing and enhancing the undergraduate population, offering more online and off-site classes and doing more recruiting beyond the local area are some of his goals.
“It’s going to be a lot of the same types of things that we’ve done here, except on a much larger scale,” he said.
Coming to Lander after working for 21 years in Louisiana was a new thing for him, he said, “but the people here made it worthwhile. They embraced me from day one, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a good place, a very good place.”
Benoit, who is four classes away from finishing a doctor of education program with Liberty University, predicted that Lander will continue to prosper.
“President Cosentino’s doing a great job here, and there are a lot of good people here who work and care very deeply for Lander, and that’s a good thing,” he said.