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Faculty and Staff

Benkert Named DPAT Department Head

Stuart Benkert is the new permanent department head for the Department of Performing Arts and Technology.
Stuart Benkert will be the new permanent department head for the Department of Performing Arts and Technology.

The Department of Performing Arts and Technology (DPAT) is ready to march forward under new permanent leadership. 

Division of Academic and Student Affairs Vice Chancellor and Dean Doneka Scott announced that Stuart Benkert, who joined the DPAT in 2023 as its interim department head, will become the permanent department head and start this new role on July 1. 

“Stuart has a wealth of experience leading academic programming, student success and arts initiatives,” Scott said. “I look forward to him continuing to lead DPAT to meet its mission of helping NC State students develop their skills and knowledge in engagement with the arts.” 

Benkert earned a Doctorate of Philosophy and Music Education from the University of Kansas in 1998, and has completed a certificate in Leading Diversity and Education from Cornell and is working toward a Fundraising Management certificate from IUPUI.

Before coming to NC State, Benkert was the inaugural dean of education and student success at Colorado State University Pueblo. He was also tenured and promoted to full professor at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, where he held several positions, including associate director of bands, director of bands, head of performing arts, interim head of economics, associate provost of Student Success, and director of Complete College and Student Success.

“I am excited to continue working with the passionate and talented faculty and staff in the Department of Performing Arts and Technology,” Benkert said. “During my first year I learned that the students participating in our minor programs, ensembles and companies are dedicated to their crafts, creative, and possess high levels of artistry. The production values of the programs and the performance ability of our students are both very high. The faculty are passionate teachers and artists and I attend each performance with the highest of expectations.”

Benkert is a well-respected clinician, guest conductor and leadership facilitator. He has worked with academic and performing programs and honor bands in 37 states. Between 2004 and 2008, Benkert conducted four international tours for collegiate and professional chamber ensembles in Europe and Asia. A nationally recognized designer, Benkert has over 35 years of experience writing shows for marching bands, winter pageantry and drum corps.

Benkert also serves on the leadership committee for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, which he previously chaired.

In a year that will see NC State celebrate 100 years of music, the Department of Performing Arts and Technology continues to lean into the future by expanding academic program offerings. This fall, the department will accept students into its first four-year program with a music technology degree. 

“My goal is to work with our faculty to expand programming while providing more opportunities for student participation through the addition of courses, ensembles, companies and projects,” Benkert said. “We will  become an economic driver in arts-based career spaces while continuing to be a vibrant artistic contributor to our campus and region.”