NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 4, 2012) – A new president has taken over Dillard University this year by the name of Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough. Kimbrough is nationally and affectionately known as the “Hip-Hop Prez.” We’ll get into why that is, in a minute.
Kimbrough reigned as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., before coming to Dillard. He is well-known for guiding Philander out of bankruptcy, raising its four-year graduation rate from 16 percent to 20 percent and increasing student retention from 51 percent to 77 percent. He plans on making major changes at “Fair Dillard” as well.
Kimbrough’s recipe for success lies in one main ingredient: building personal relationships with students. I certainly think he’s going about it the right way. Check this out: He’s going to host luncheons each semester with students, iterating the fact that we should work together as a family and view our historically black college and university as a home away from home.
Kimbrough shared a story with students and faculty members in a recent Convocation at the chapel. It was about an accident that involved students from his previous university. He talked about how he invited them to his house to eat a hot meal and recover from the aftermath. I believe he shared that story with us to let us know that he can handle the burdens that may come his way – even while under pressure.
Kimbrough’s record speaks for itself. He’s shown he is an effective administrator. He is one of the youngest university presidents in America. At age 45, Kimbrough has a special way of relating to this generation of college students on a more personal level. That’s why we call him the “Hip-Hop Prez.” With Dr. Kimbrough at Dillard’s helm, I’m so sure students will succeed and once again, Dillard will be on top in no time.
Mass Communication sophomore