LSU Agricultural Center Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil was named Tuesday as interim chancellor of LSU’s Alexandria campus.

He will fill the position for eight months starting March 1.

Current LSU-A Chancellor David Manuel is expected to leave the university in May to become president of Drury University in Springfield, Mo.

AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson broke the news to employees Tuesday morning in a letter saying the move delays Coreil’s planned Sept. 15 retirement date.

Richardson said he will take over some of Coreil’s duties at the AgCenter including acting as the interim vice chancellor for the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.

Coreil, a Ville Platte native, has been with the AgCenter since 1978, except for a short stint between 1998 and 1999 working with private industry.

“As a native of this great state, I am passionate about higher education in Louisiana and very much appreciate the tremendous contributions that have been made by LSU-A,” Coreil said in a news release. “I pledge to support and enhance a culture of excellence and community/business engagement that will prepare LSU-A and its students for long-term success and achievement.”

LSU System President and Baton Rouge Chancellor William Jenkins called Coreil “the ideal individual” to lead LSU-A until a search for a new chancellor is completed.

“He is a proven leader who made the AgCenter’s extension and outreach effort a great success,” Jenkins said in a prepared statement. “That kind of leadership is important for LSU Alexandria in this transition period.”