Langford named new director of admission

Mike Langford’s career in higher education includes 16 years in the enrollment management division at Lenoir-Rhyne University and a stint with an Atlanta-based higher education marketing firm.

Mike A. Langford won’t have far to go when he transitions to his new position at Western Carolina University in mid-April – just down the hallway in the Cordelia Camp Building to the Office of Admission.

Langford will be moving out of the job he has held for a little over a year, director of recruiting and marketing for Graduate School and Research at WCU, to take on the role of director of admission for the university. The close proximity of the two offices in the Camp Building will make for an easy move, but Langford said his familiarity with the admission staff will make the migration to the new position even easier.

“From my first day here at WCU in March 2016, I’ve worked with members of the admission staff on committees, on new programs coming from General Administration that affected undergraduate and graduate admission, and on student issues that cross in the admission process,” Langford said. “The staff is smart, fun to work with, and they are always concerned about the student. Many times, admission offices are seen as always worrying about numbers. Members of this staff are concerned about the student.”

A native of Raleigh, Langford received his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance in 1997 at Lenoir-Rhyne University and then worked in that institution’s Division of Enrollment Management for 16 years – first in the admission office, where he was associate director and part of a team that boosted Lenoir-Rhyne’s overall enrollment by 60 percent over eight years, and later as director of marketing and communication. While working in the latter role, he also taught a freshman seminar as an adjunct faculty member. He earned his master’s degree in higher education administration at Appalachian State University in 2006.

Before joining the WCU staff, Langford held positions at Our State Magazine in Greensboro, where he was an account supervisor, and at Mindpower Inc., an Atlanta-based higher education marketing firm that focuses on branding higher education institutions ranging in size from small colleges to large universities.

Langford said a desire to be closer to family in Asheville brought him to Western North Carolina. “I’ve had my eye on WCU for some time,” he said. “I’ve always been impressed with the academic quality of its programs, as well as how loyal the region is to WCU.

“I could not be more excited to join the WCU admission staff as we embark on these exciting times and tackle new initiatives such as NC Promise and act as brand ambassadors as we expand our branding and marketing footprint, as well as continue to be the regional choice for higher education in Western North Carolina,” he said.

Through the NC Promise Tuition Plan, enacted by the N.C. General Assembly in July 2016, WCU is one of three University of North Carolina system institutions that will reduce tuition costs to $500 per semester for in-state students and $2,500 per semester for out-of-state students beginning in fall 2018.

Although his career has included stints in graduate and undergraduate enrollment, marketing and branding, Langford said he has a special affinity for undergraduate admission work. “Undergraduate admission is where I most directly saw dreams become reality for many first-generation students,” he said.

Phil Cauley, WCU’s assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment, said he is thrilled that Langford is joining the undergraduate admission team. “Mike already has proven to be a valuable WCU teammate by playing an integral role in recent increases in Graduate School applications and enrollment, and he already is actively involved with the Enrollment Planning Committee and the university’s Strategic Enrollment Plan,” Cauley said. “His prior roles in undergraduate admission and higher education marketing equip him to lead the admission staff as it builds on the momentum of recent years and navigates the swirling and uncharted waters represented by NC Promise.”