Dillard University President Marvalene Hughes announced her plans to retire in the next few months.
Hughes was hired less than two months before 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded by Hurricane Katrina, has been credited with spurring the institution's post-Katrina recovery and helping Dillard to regain its footing.
Prior to coming to Dillard, Hughes served as president of the University of California at Stanislaus, where she oversaw more than $70 million in infrastructural campus improvements, and was credited with increasing enrollment by 40 percent and achieving many national rankings for the first time in the institution's history.
Dr. Hughes received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and her Ph.D. from Florida State University.
Hughes took over the helm at Dillard in July 2005 and said it has been a challenge to serve the institution and help rebuild the historically Black school since Hurricane Katrina.
"It has been challenging and rewarding to serve 'Fair Dillard' over the past six years," Dr. Hughes said. "It was an honor to play a role in rebuilding Dillard, following its devastation at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. Because of your faith in Dillard's rich legacy, together, we have not only preserved the heritage of this stellar institution, but brought it to new heights, positioning Dillard for greater achievements in the 21st century.
"In the months ahead, I will be working tirelessly to sustain and build upon our many successes, and to identify new opportunities to secure Dillard's future," Hughes continued. "We will continue to focus heavily on fundraising to enable us to rebuild Dillard's entire campus.
Dillard University is expected to soon begin its search for her successor.