The DU Roux
President Ford's first 100 days
The Dillard community came together with neighbors from Pontchartrain Park for the
Gentilly Communiversity Living Garden event with AARP in August. Photo: Sabree Hill/Dillard
October 13, 2022
Here are 100 things that the Dillard community accomplished during the first 100 days of Dr. Rochelle L. Ford's presidency, supporting her goals for Facilities that Withstand the Forecast, Fortifying Faculty, and Financing the Future.
- 1. We welcomed a chief of staff and special assistant to the president.
- 2. DU welcomed a new athletic director.
- 3. The University brought on board a vice president for the newly created Division of Facilities Management and Real Estate Planning.
- 4. We brought to "The Jewel" an interim provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management.
- 5. We started the academic year with a revamped Faculty and Staff Institute.
- 6. A private donor-supported incentive fund for faculty and staff sponsored program submissions was created.
- 7. Dillard launched a search for a vice president/chief fundraiser for the Division of Institutional Advancement.
- 8. The University's director of communications and marketing was reassigned as a presidential direct report and added to the president’s cabinet.
- 9. Our UNCF transformation officer was added to the cabinet.
- 10. The president's cabinet welcomed the University's internal auditor.
- 11. Contractors were hired to assist the facilities, grounds and housekeeping team to ensure that the campus would be ready for its Fall 2022 opening.
- 12. An incentive program was established for additional degrees earned by faculty and staff.
- 13. Dillard welcomed a new director for the Office of Residential Life.
- 14. One of our dean's roles was expanded to interim associate provost role to intensify academic planning and professional development.
- 15. We implemented the 5% adjustment to salaries campuswide.
- 16. The Bleu Devils welcomed an assistant athletic director for communication and operations.
- 17. An undergraduate fellow was added to the Office of the President.
- 18. The roles and job descriptions for presidential office team were readjusted and clarified.
- 19. The DU Roux electronic newsletter was launched to showcase the achievements of faculty, staff and students.
- 20. The Office of the President hosted a student town hall with the Student Government Association.
- 21. We reinforced the University’s new mission through classroom signage, placing it at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
- 22. We created the Dillardy University Staff Council.
- 23. Our podcast, "Conversations on the Oaks," came off hiatus.
- 24. Several receptions were held around Greater New Orleans introduce President Ford to the community. They were hosted by Phelps-Dunbar, St. Augustine High School and Preservation Resource Center, Liberty Bank, and the Howard University Alumni Association.
- 25. We held Joint Reformed Jewish Synagogue worship.
- 26. President Ford attended United Methodist Church worship services.
- 27. Dillard successfully reopened its doors for the 2022-2023 academic year.
- 28. We revamped and retrained the Emergency Preparedness Team.
- 29. To strengthen their teams, the Office of Communications and Marketing, the Division of Student Success and other areas held retreats.
- 30. We distributed a request for proposals to have the University website rebuilt.
- 31. We joined our Gentilly and Pontchartrain Park neighbors in dedicating an AARP community garden with the Office of Community and Church Relations.
- 32. The president hosted receptions for new faculty and new staff to build community and fortify faculty and staff.
- 33. The University hosted the first meeting of the newly formed staff council, which also hosted their first event--a New Orleans Pelicans information table in Kearny Hall.
- 34. We established and hosted the first meeting of the newly formed Dillard University Leadership Council.
- 35. President Ford convened with church and ministry leaders in the Austin and Washington, D.C. areas.
- 36. The administration held student and employee budget forums to help the community better understand where the University is financially.
- 37. We met with over 30 congregations nationwide.
- 38. The University initiated plans to host at-risk youth on campus this summer via the Office of the Chaplain.
- 39. Dillard re-established connections with the United Methodist Church community resulting in $2,500 in pledges.
- 40. We aligned the UNCF transformation initiative with the University’s strategic plan.
- 41. UNCF transformation sprints we reassigned to new team leaders.
- 42. We created and updated online policy lists for University units.
- 43. We streamlined online meetings options to Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
- 44. Our community generated more than 100 submissions for ideas from faculty and staff for greater efficiency.
- 45. The administration explained the budget and higher education fiscal environment to the community.
- 46. We collected ideas from web-based idea submissions.
- 47. The University combined the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Enrollment Management to form the Division of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management.
- 48. The institution began an audit of housing procedures.
- 49. The administration followed-up on auditor’s previous reports to heighten institutional accountability.
- 50. The administration ordered a procurement audit.
- 51. We began procurement policy revision.
- 52. We moved a chat bot interactive app onto the homepage of the website for 24 hour access.
- 53. Dillard exceeded its new/returning/transfer student goal.
- 54. We began management of the president’s calendar.
- 55. The University held UKG accountable, and negotiated a no-cost exit from our contract to return to ADP.
- 56. Dillard created a Retention Task Force to escalate focus on student completion.
- 57. We created a communication outreach for juniors and seniors who have not completed and are not enrolled.
- 58. The University realigned the Office of Financial Aid under the chief financial officer in the Division of Business and Finance to create “one-stop shop” for students.
- 59. We completed an audit of staff positions (current and open).
- 60. We realigned the Writing Center under the Department of English to intensify oversight and focus.
- 61. Dillard completed phase 1 of a cyber security upgrade in partnership with Cisco.
- 62. The University began transitioning to zero-based budgeting.
- 63. University leadership hosted procurement process training.
- 64. We hosted virtual town hall meetings.
- 65. We established alumni presidential meet and greet tour, visiting the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, and Austin.
- 66. The University created a form for engagement for the time, talent and treasure of our alumni to support Fair Dillard.
- 67. President Ford signed a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.
- 68. Dillard recommitted its relationship with GNO, Inc.
- 69. Dillard recommitted to the Business Roundtable.
- 70. The University partnered with the Coca-Cola Unite programs.
- 71. Dillard reaffirmed its commitment to the Ray Charles Program in African American Material Culture.
- 72. We began engaging with the Google Creative Team (YouTube advertising).
- 73. Dillard re-engaged with California Community College for a transfer partnership.
- 74. Dillard signed an agreement with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
- 75. The University reaffirmed its partnership with the United Methodist Church's Black College Fund.
- 76. We submitted to SACSCOC a substantive change request for a Master of Science in Nursing.
- 77. Dillard formed a partnershp with PAN Communications' PAN P.R.E.P. fellowship program.
- 78. The University signed an MOU with Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency.
- 79. Dillard established a partnership with Urban Edge Network to live stream athletic events and to stream cultural and academic programs on an exclusive Dillard channel on HBCU League Pass Plus which is available free for download.
- 80. We have made significant progress in ADA compliance.
- 81. The University hosted a successful beautification day prior to opening for the 2022-2023 academic year.
- 82. We identified three sources for renovations: federal dollars, the Black College Fund of the United Methodist Church and HEERF.
- 83. Dillard contracted with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for student housing.
- 84. We made progress on HBCU financing for a new residential hall.
- 85. The University engaged new consultants related to HVAC and facilities assessment.
- 86. We installed vibrant campus life photography in Kerny Hall and the Professional Schools Building.
- 87. We commissioned the installation of framed posters of published book covers outside of the offices of the faculty and staff who authored those books.
- 88. We were able to reopen the OBC Grill in Kearny Hall.
- 89. In a money-saving move, the University installed a new dishwasher in the Kearny Dining Hall to reduce the use of paper and plastic dinnerware.
- 90. We installed nursing mural in PSB to showcase legacy of the program.
Resources and Fundraising
- 91. Dillard University recorded $12,164,879 in grants, contracts, gifts and contributions.
- 92. Our alumni giving increased from 2.26% this time last year to 3.96% currently.
- 93. The University identified $3 million in federal support for renovations and ADA compliance.
- 94. We secured $255,000 from UMC for Lawless Memorial Chapel.
- 95. Dillard received $1.3 million in funding for Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program from U.S. Department of Education.
- 96. The University established three endowed scholarships, totaling $125,000.
Preparing for Inauguration
- 97. We confirmed a co-chair to prepare us for this momentous occasion.
- 98. We identified members for the honorary, host, planning and program committees.
- 99. We developed our schedule of activities.
- 100. We secured a $50,000 sponsorship to cover food on campus and HBCU Night with the Pelicans.
- 101. We obtained a sponsor for the VIP reception for the Inauguration of President Rochelle L. Ford.
While we are proud of what we have gotten done, none of this will mean anything if we do not carry lessons into the future. Here are thoughts that you have shared to achieve excellence at DU. We must:
- Build the capacity to trust.
- Lean on each other to give and receive support.
- Rely on each other.
- Share information and communicate better across campus.
- Be more efficient and helpful in our on-boarding process.
- Ask more questions and give each other grace.
- Have an understanding of how things have been done before.
- Avoid being critical and lean in to understanding.
- Keep grace as a center focal point while holding each other accountable.
- Maintain focus and realize that everything won’t happen overnight.
- Prioritize and help our team members prioritize.
- Be transparent and open to new ideas and a “new way of work.”
- Be transparent.
- Adhere to deadlines and work more efficiently.
- Not be afraid to ask questions.
- Accept that it is okay to not have the answer.
- Be okay with the answers that will help you get to the next step.
- Embrace education and training around everything we do.
- Onboard students, staff, faculty better. Identify what people need to know and when,
including culture and values.
View more images from Dr. Ford's first 100 days