The president of Haskell Indian Junior College will spend several months this spring in the office of Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R.-Kan., working with the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs as part of a Department of Interior training program.
Bob Martin, president of the Bureau of Indian Affairs school, said Thursday that he is looking forward to developing his management skills through the Interior Department's Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.
As part of the program, Martin will go through 15 months of training. If he completes the program, which includes several career development seminars and assignments, Martin will be qualified for any Senior Executive Service position in the federal government.
The 28 participants in the program were competitively selected by an executive resources board as potential selectees to the Senior Executive Service. The Senior Executive Service is comprised of top-level federal executives.
MARTIN SAID the program will be "good for my own development but for Haskell too." He said his participation in the program gives Haskell more exposure and will strengthen his network of federal contacts.
For example, he will spend four weeks in March in Washington, D.C., working in Kassebaum's office to fulfill the developmental assignment required by the program. Martin also plans to go through a seminar for three weeks at Harvard University in July.
Martin already has completed one of the three one-week seminars on leadership skills required by the program. He will attend a second seminar in February in San Antonio, Tex., and a third in May in Baltimore.
He also has devised his individual development plan in which he assessed his managerial skills. Martin said skills he would like to work on include policy development, budget formulation and resource management.
MARTIN IS working closely with his mentor, Bernita Joyce, assistant director of the Office of Program Analysis in the Interior Department. Each participant in the program must choose a mentor who already is in the Senior Executive Service. Joyce helped Martin devise his individual development plan and is ironing out the details of his seminar at Harvard.
"She's been excellent," Martin said, adding that the Harvard seminar and assignment in Kassebaum's office are the portions of the program he is looking forward to the most.
Marvin Buzzard, dean of students, will serve as acting president while Martin is away for the program. The BIA is paying the costs of Martin's participation in the program.
Martin said deciding to apply for the program was a "real dilemma," because while he believes the program will strengthen his skills as president, it will take him away from Haskell for several weeks.
But he added, "I think it's going to help me develop my management skills and make me a better president. That's the main reason I did it."