Closer ties between Kansas University and Haskell Indian Nations University are bound to benefit both schools.
A photo in Saturday's Journal-World focused on two former presidents of Haskell Indian Nations University who attended Friday's inauguration of Karen Swisher as Haskell's new president.
But the people in the photo's background also are worthy of note.
Seated directly behind former Haskell presidents Bob Martin and Gerald Gipp were Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Provost David Shulenberger. The presence of the two top KU officials is just one indication of the efforts under way to build bridges between the state university and the federal university for Native Americans.
The two Lawrence universities haven't always been so interested in cooperation, but in recent years special efforts have been made to ease the transition of Haskell students who transfer to KU to complete their degrees. The two schools also have collaborated in other ways. Last fall, both were involved in sponsoring a meeting of well-known American Indian leaders in Lawrence. KU also has provided housing in some of its residence halls for students who couldn't be accommodated on the Haskell campus.
These and other interactions between the two schools are a positive sign. Haskell and KU have much to offer one another. Since Haskell started offering four-year degrees in four program areas, the schools have even more common interests. It's great to see them working together. The cooperative spirit is bound to benefit students and faculty at both schools.