July 11, 2022
To cap off an active first week, President Rochelle L. Ford signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Dillard and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The MOU allows for the expansion of outreach and recruitment of Dillard students and recent graduates for opportunities with DHS. The opportunities include, but are not limited to, permanent federal employment, internships, fellowships, academic programs, mentorships and overall student engagement.
For Ford, the MOU covers multiple critical bases for Dillard. “Student outcomes, safety and wellness are our top priorities at Dillard; and those lead to success during and after college,” she said. “Not only does this MOU help us meet those priorities, it also allows us to work in partnership with the federal government.”
The MOU comes on the heels of a course designed to support HBCUs with emergency preparedness. The customized course–Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response, and Recovery (MGT-324-C)–was held June 30 in Georges Auditorium. The event was a collaborative effort among the Dillard University Police Department (DUPD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for State and Local Law Enforcement, the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the DHS White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Louisiana State University National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education.
“On behalf of the HBCU Emergency Management Workforce Development Consortium, we are appreciative of our federal partners that continue to support our work, and we thank President Ford and the Dillard University family for hosting the first-ever HBCU Campus Police safety training,” said Ceeon Smith who is a member of the HBCU Emergency Management Workforce Development Consortium and the department chair/Cleo Fields endowed professor of mass communication at Grambling State University. “I am especially proud to have my hometown of New Orleans serve as the host city for this critical emergency management conversation, particularly, since New Orleans continues to inform emergency preparedness, disaster response and resilience in this country.”
The eight-hour course provided participants an opportunity to to discuss emergency planning considerations, the importance of an integrated response to campus emergencies, and communications and recovery techniques. HBCU campus law enforcement with mid to senior level responsibilities such as police chiefs, special response teams, campus emergency managers and incident command staff were invited to take the course.
After being contacted by DHS as part of their outreach to HBCUs, Angela Honora, DUPD chief, organized the training. “After the bomb threat we received in February, I knew this had to be done. We need as much training as we can get.” Honora maintains a line of communication with her peers at several other HBCUs around the country to compare notes and share best practices.
The training was specifically customized to address the ongoing HBCU bomb threats. Representatives from Mississippi, Alabama and other Louisiana HBCUs were invited to participate in the course. Other institutions tapped to host the course have been Virginia State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Philander Smith College and Clark Atlanta University.
The course at Dillard was taught, at no expense to the University, by expert instructors with course materials delivered to the University at no cost.