An agreement signed Thursday by Kansas University and Haskell Indian Junior College will begin a new era of cooperation between the schools, officials said.
The memorandum of understanding authorizes development of student, faculty and staff exchanges as well as joint research and teaching projects.
"This is a historic moment for both institutions. There have been missed opportunities because we have not had a formal relationship," said Bob Martin, Haskell president.
He said past efforts to work together have been inconsistent and lacked commitment from school administrators.
Del Shankel, KU executive vice chancellor, said during a signing at Haskell that the pact was prepared by a task force he and Martin appointed in 1991.
The task force will be permanent. It will review new agreements, mutual research projects and other academic or extracurricular activities.
School officials said some KU and Haskell faculty have wanted to collaborate on projects but didn't know how.
"We're opening a channel of communication," said Dave Shulenburger, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at KU.
The first faculty exchange may occur in the spring 1993 semester, Shulenburger said.
Martin said the agreement will increase the number of students transferring to KU from Haskell, a two-year federally funded college for Native Americans.
"Haskell students will have an easier time working toward KU," said Hannes Combest, education assistant to Martin.
Jeff Weinberg, associate vice chancellor for student affairs at KU, said the agreement also will foster cultural exchange among students and faculty.
"We're all interested in increasing communication between the races," said Angelita Felix, Haskell's dean of instruction.
Kim Moreland, director of KU's office of research support and grants administration, said additional research funding could be secured if the schools combine expertise.
The schools also agreed to:
Mutually identify and acquire scholarship funds for degree-seeking American Indian students.
Cooperate in the use of libraries, museums, computer links, telecommunication facilities and cultural event programming.
Support a policy that allows Haskell students to transfer to KU as residents rather than non-residents.
Provide supplemental KU advising and admissions personnel to assist Haskell students in transferring and adjusting to KU.
Cooperate to provide in-service education and technical training programs for Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel.