University Leaders Explore the Importance of Strong Resident Life Programs on Campus

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough describes how a strong residence life program helped rebuild the campus community after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

GAITHERSBURG, Md.Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the latest chapter of the President to President series, published today, Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D., president of Dillard University in New Orleans, describes the importance of developing a strong residence life program as the University works to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina.
Titled "After Katrina: Rebuilding a Residence Life Program," this edition of President to President explains how Kimbrough and other campus leaders developed a robust residential life program on campus as part of a plan to address the dramatic decline in enrollment caused by Hurricane Katrina. Dillard University suffered extensive damage when the storm hit the New Orleans area in 2005. The campus was covered in flood water for weeks, and 43 buildings were damaged or destroyed. In addition to the physical damage, student enrollment dropped significantly in the aftermath of the storm.
Kimbrough and his administration had to find ways to improve enrollment by attracting new students and retaining existing ones, while also addressing the challenges regarding damaged infrastructure. One solution was to develop a vibrant residential life program that fostered a close-knit community, supporting higher retention and graduation rates. These efforts have included renovating campus housing and offering more opportunities for students to engage in campus life. While extreme circumstances, Dr. Kimbrough's shares his learnings as tools for higher education administrations wanting to improve quality of life on campus.
The article is part of the 2016-2017 President to President series, published by Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services. The series is written by university presidents for university presidents and focuses on how institutions are developing innovative campus strategies that ensure positive business outcomes while enhancing the student experience.
Each month, a new chapter of President to President is authored by a notable leader in higher education whose institution is at in the forefront of pioneering viewpoints and practices. Edited by longtime co-authors/editors, Dr. Scott Miller and Dr. Marylouise Fennell, Sodexo provides publishing support but exerts no editorial influence over the series. Chapters are distributed and promoted electronically and posted on At the end of the ten-part series, all content will be published into a thought-provoking collection and made available online.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.


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