Rochelle Ford, dean at Elon University, named new Dillard University president | Instruction

Rochelle Ford, dean at Elon University, named new Dillard University president | Instruction

Rochelle Ford, a dean at Elon University in North Carolina and longtime advocate for historically Black schools and universities, has been picked as the eighth president of Dillard College in New Orleans.

Ford will commence her occupation on July 1, succeeding Walter Kimbrough who headed the 1,200-college student historically black non-public college or university for 10 many years.

Ford, 50, is at present dean of Elon’s University of Communications, and next a occupation in community relations experienced educating stops at Howard College in Washington, D.C., and Syracuse University in New York. She obtained a master’s degree in community relations and journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a doctorate in journalism from Southern Illinois College in Carbondale, as perfectly as a graduate certification in better education administration from Harvard University.


Graduates and college collect about the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of the Oaks before the commencement ceremony for 2022 graduates at Dillard College in New Orleans, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Picture by Sophia Germer,, The Occasions-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Ford, who grew up in Gahanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, stated she is a 2nd generation HBCU graduate. Both of her moms and dads attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, exactly where her father analyzed physics and her mom nursing. Ford’s undergraduate diploma is from Howard College, where she studied journalism and general public relations. It was there that she recognized the “magic” of HBCUs.

Sacred destinations

“I understood then what a sacred spot becoming at an HBCU was,” she stated. “And I preferred to make positive in my job I was able to  … to create environments the place younger individuals experienced a harmless place to fully practical experience their past and their present and their foreseeable future due to the fact that’s what I was provided going to an HBCU.”

Dillard chairperson Michael Jones mentioned pupils, faculties and trustees have been “blown away by [Ford’s] perception, passion and drive.”

“As remarkable as Dillard has been around the past 150 a long time in creating history makers and adjust agents, there is no problem that, below Dr. Ford’s management, the most effective is nonetheless to appear,” Jones said. 

At Dillard, Ford hopes to create a location for college students to construct upward mobility and expand in community-mindedness by offering more internship options and provider studying, she explained.

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“I want to make confident that the faculty can actually look into the complexities that we’re struggling with in the Black neighborhood and the wider diaspora, but significantly New Orleans, simply because New Orleans is resilient and is experiencing so numerous problems,” Ford claimed. “How can we exhibit that Dillard is a courageous spot for faculty or team or pupils and that we truly can stand for our communities with fearless action .. discuss truth to ability.”

Return to schooling

Immediately after graduating from Howard, Ford worked in community relations for a several several years, but always understood she would return to education and learning, she explained. Right after earning her doctorate she returned to Howard, wherever she taught communications, served set up the Educational Middle for Excellence and served as the affiliate dean of analysis and educational affairs in Howard’s School of Communications.

“I returned back again to my roots simply because I knew I wished to give back again to the African American community in a immediate way,” she said.


Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough, still left, and actor and producer Michael Ealy share a chortle after Ealy was conferred an honorary degree in the course of graduation ceremonies at Dillard College Saturday, Could 15, 2021. Graduates and attendees have been seated to enable for social distancing. Grads were being authorized to eliminate their masks, if they have been vaccinated, even though they been given their diplomas.

Immediately after 16 decades there she grew to become a provost faculty fellow at Syracuse, led the university’s regional reaccreditation and implementation of its strategic strategy and chaired the general public relations office at the S.I. Newhouse University of General public Communications. At Elon, she grew enrollment in the School of Communications, developed an business advisory job pressure to aid communications faculty create curriculum and started raising cash for a new overall health communications application centered on internships and undergraduate research. 

Even though at Elon she was a 2021 fellow in Clark Atlanta University’s HBCU Executive Leadership Institute, wherever she stood out as an “outstanding fellow,” said Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, executive director of the HBCU Government Management Institute.

“The way she grasped what we have been accomplishing in phrases of competencies, allow us know that Dr. Ford would become a president,” Dawkins claimed.

Kimbrough introduced in August that he would step down in 2022. All through his tenure, he was credited with increasing the university’s endowment and elevating its national profile. 

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