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Dillard University President Plans to Leave Next Year

August 11, 2021

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough will leave his role in May 2022, the university announced on Monday.

Kimbrough, 54, will have led the historically Black institution in New Orleans for 10 years by the time of his departure. He previously served as president of Philander Smith College in Arkansas, where he started his first presidency at age 37.

"Walter is an innovative leader who has made an indelible impact on Dillard University," Michael D. Jones, a Dillard alumnus and chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in the announcement.

Kimbrough is credited with getting an $160 million federal loan to the university forgiven in 2018 along with other HBCU leaders at institutions affected by Hurricane Katrina who fought for debt relief. The university's endowment grew by more than 115 percent and reached $100 million during his tenure, according to the announcement.

"Dillard University and New Orleans have been awesome for our family, and we are thankful for the love and support," Kimbrough said in a separate message to the campus. "But it is time for a new challenge where my gifts and graces match the needs of an institution at this point in their history, and Dillard is ready for someone new to do likewise."

The university's announcement said the board of trustees plans to immediately begin a search for a new president.

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