Raime Thibodeaux named head of counseling center after tumultuous year

Martha Sanchez, News Editor

tulane campus health
Tulane University announced a new director of counseling on Thursday. (Adrienne Underwood)

Tulane University named Raime Thibodeaux director of counseling, ushering in new leadership at the center after it faced high employee turnover amid allegations of a toxic workplace last year. 

Thibodeaux will assume the role in mid-October. Her previous roles include staff therapist and assistant director at Nicholls State University, director of counseling and health at McNeese State University and director of mental health at Louisiana State University. 

In a staff biography from Louisiana State University, Thibodeaux said working in college environments allows her to serve students undergoing the challenging and transformative nature of college. 

In an email announcement today from Dusty Porter, vice president of student affairs, Tulane also announced that the Counseling Center has hired “five new permanent staff members for 11 total and is continuing to add staff.” All three psychiatry roles are fully staffed.

The changes come amid heightened scrutiny of Campus Health and the Counseling Center after The Hullabaloo spoke with current and former Campus Health employees last year. Those employees said the work environment under former assistant vice president for Campus Health Scott Tims and former counseling center director Lilian Odera was toxic and abusive. Both have since stepped down. 

“Last year, we received deeply concerning feedback from students and parents regarding the provision of services at both the Student Health Center and the Counseling Center,” the email from Porter said. “Students questioned the levels of medical staffing (specifically in psychiatry), long wait times for appointments and how staff turnover affected continuity of care.” 

In response, Tulane hired an outside consulting group to review Campus Health operations. That group recommended hiring a new counseling director, increasing access to telehealth programs and raising staff levels in psychiatry and counseling. 

This fall, Campus Health expanded virtual care through a program called Tulane Telehealth in an effort to lower student wait times. 

The school is still working with the consulting group on a nationwide search for the next assistant vice president for Campus Health.

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