The chancellor of Missouri State University-West Plains, Dr. Drew Bennett, plans to retire at the conclusion of the spring 2018 semester.
Bennet made the announcement Wednesday. He will have served 11 years in the position by next May. Bennett is the 7th person to lead the West Plains campus and is the 2nd longest serving.
In a statement, Bennett said in retirement “I plan to have a ball. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have an extensive bucket list that includes travel and spending time with family.”
According to the school, enrollment grew by 10 percent under his leadership, West Plains increased full-time faculty by 26 percent, and added 10 new associates degrees. Since Bennett took over the chancellor’s role, the university has also raised more than $8.8 million in donations and more than $11 million in grant funding.
— Clif Smart (@ClifSmart) August 30, 2017
In his 10 years leading the school, the West Plains’ physical campus has undergone 12 building renovations and added two new facilities, with a third on the way. Those include the FEMA/Student Recreation Center, Gohn Hall and Hass-Darr Hall, currently under construction.
More than 2,700 students have graduated since Bennett became chancellor.
“Dr. Bennett has transformed the West Plains campus,” said Missouri State University President Clif Smart. “We appreciate his devotion to the university and the community.”
MSU says Matt Morris, vice president for administrative services, will lead the search committee to seek Bennett’s replacement. That effort will begin this fall.
Follow Scott Harvey on Twitter: @scottksmu