Three Black Presidents in Higher Education Announce Their Resignations

Rochelle L. Ford has stepped down from her role as president of Dillard University in Louisiana. Over the past two years, Dr. Ford has overseen the university’s first-ever cohort of graduate nursing students, millions of dollars in fundraising campaigns, and a significant expansion of STEM, business, and social justice programming and initiatives.

Before taking on the Dillard University presidency, Dr. Ford served as dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. She previously served in various academic roles with Howard University and Syracuse University in New York.

Dr. Ford completed her undergraduate education at Howard University, where she studied journalism and public relations. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Maryland and a doctorate in journalism from Southern Illinois University.

Logan Hampton has announced his resignation as the tenth president of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, effective July 31. Throughout his 10-year tenure, the college experienced growth in fundraising capabilities and financial stability. The school also successfully reaffirmed its accreditation from the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission Colleges.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Hampton spent over 15 years at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, serving in roles such as director of the Donaghey Student Center, associate vice chancellor, and vice provost for student affairs. Earlier in his career, he held student affairs positions with the University of Central Arkansas, Texas A&M University, and Texas Christian University.

Dr. Hampton is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University, where he majored in biology. He holds a master’s degree in student personnel services from Northwestern State University and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Belle S. Wheelan has announced her plans to retire as president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges following the conclusion of the the 2024-2025 academic year. She is the first African American and first woman to serve in the role.

Dr. Wheelan’s career in education spans more than four decades. Before transitioning to her present position, she spent three years as Secretary of Education for Virginia. She previously served as president of Northwestern Virginia Community College, as well as Central Virginia Community College, where her appointment in 1992 made her the first African American woman to serve as president of a two- or four-year public higher education institution in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she held faculty and administrative roles with Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, and San Antonio College in Texas.

Dr. Wheelan is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, where she double-majored in psychology and sociology. She holds a master’s degree in developmental educational psychology from Louisiana State University and a doctorate in educational administration with a concentration in community college leadership from the University of Texas.

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