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Archive for Saturday, December 19, 2009

Federal officials should investigate situation at Haskell

December 19, 2009

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It appears the time has come for a deep, thorough investigation of what is going on at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Haskell is a unique and important university, and it deserves every opportunity to fulfill its mission of helping prepare American Indians to be involved, contributing members of today’s “real world.”

It’s a good school, but it has the potential to be a far better academic institution. However, it cannot and will not rise to higher levels of excellence and become a nationally recognized and prized university for American Indians unless it has stable, enlightened leadership.

Over the years, there have been far too many changes in leadership at the school. There also have been and currently are elements within the faculty who make it extremely difficult to develop a sound, forward-looking academic curriculum.

Earlier this week, it was learned Haskell President Linda Warner had been shuffled off to some relatively minor Indian-related position in Oklahoma City.

Warner is an able, highly educated administrator, but, apparently, internal politics within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education or actions and lack of cooperation by some at Haskell all have combined to keep her from initiating and overseeing a sound academic program for the benefit of Haskell students.

Before shifting Warner to Oklahoma City, powers within the BIA or BIE had her moved to a position in the Albuquerque, N.M., area.

Word of the internal mess at Haskell leaked out through a letter signed by Ted Wright, who spent a year as Haskell’s vice president for university services. In the letter, addressed to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and all members of Congress, Wright asks for a thorough internal investigation of the school. He wrote, “Unfortunately, Haskell employs a group of about seven individuals who actively work against the administration. This group has been vocal, and since the BIE maintains a policy that does not allow administrators to respond, only misinformation, rumor and innuendoes are spread to the public, to the students and to Congress.”

He added, “I agree with a recent blog that said this should be embarrassing to BIE officials; it was embarrassing to me as a native person that the very group of people who should have native students in mind actually worked to create an environment of fictional drama on campus that was detrimental to the University’s attempt to live up to its potential.”

He then lists numerous situations that he thinks illustrate the immediate need for an investigation. Some of these cover areas such as ethics, hiring policies and budget/money issues.

He said, “You have many issues in Interior; I wonder where Indian students fit in your priorities?”

This letter was dated Oct. 8, 2009, and, according to those close to the situation, there has been no response from Salazar and, until recently, no response from members of Congress indicating they intend to check into what appears to be a very ugly situation at Haskell.

It should be embarrassing, but the reaction or response to Wright’s letter or Warner’s efforts seems to be for Indian officials to try to make Warner disappear, get rid of her.

She is a member of the Comanche tribe and has a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., a master’s in education from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She has held senior positions at the Tennessee State Board of Regents, the University of Missouri and the National Science Foundation.

Haskell would benefit greatly by her leadership.

The sad part of this story is that officials of the BIE, BIA and Interior Department either don’t care or don’t think this is a sufficiently important situation to respond to Wright’s letter or provide information to those in Congress who have asked for information.

Apparently, they think they don’t have to reply and are not answerable to anyone.

Lawrence residents should be concerned. Haskell, founded in 1884, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating BIA educational facility. It currently has approximately 1,000 students representing about 135 tribes from close to 40 states. It’s an important university.

If Lawrence and Douglas County did not have Kansas University and Baker University, local residents would be doing everything they could to help Haskell.

Just as Kansas legislators face severe economic conditions that limit the number of dollars they can allocate to KU, the same situation applies to Congress and what it can, or wishes to, appropriate for Haskell. Even so, it seems Congress has shortchanged Haskell and thereby has limited what the school has been able to achieve in providing an excellent educational facility for American Indians.

The current situation needs to be examined and certainly BIA, BIE and Interior Department officials should make such an investigation a top priority. Also, they should respond immediately to members of Congress asking for information about what is going on at Haskell.

As Wright said in his letter, the current situation is an embarrassment.

Comments

littlebird 4 years, 3 months ago

Okie,

let me get this straight now. You say "when i checked out of my room this last semester i was charged 250 dollars. Fifty because i checked out late( which is a new rule they slap on us)." Which means there was a new rule that said if you check out late you get charged fifty dollars, and you don't deny checking out late, rather that you were charged. Hello, welcome to life, welcome to the real world. If you litter and you get a ticket, you get a fine. Based on your own statements, you were late and you were charged. What's your complaint? You know one solution might be to check out on time...

Which brings us to your next point, "another two hundred because i was missing a window screen (since when are window screens 200 dollars?). I told Fast Eddie i never had a screen. he came back at me with you didn't write in down in your check in. Well when i checked in the dorms were blacked out without electricity and i was drenched by the rain." My reading of this is that you checked into your room, they must have given you a check list or inventory sheet, you didn't really check to see what was or wasn't on the list and then you were charged for it. Now, part of your excuse it that you were "drenched" with rain. I fail to see how being wet would significantly impair your ability to determine if you had a screen on your window. Your next excuse it that the dorm was blacked out. Well, unless you checked into the building in the middle of the night, you still should be able to tell if there is a window screen on a window. Especially if there is a $200 fine if you lose yours.

Yours and other student's comments on these boards seem to reflect a trend from Haskell students that nothing is ever their fault, they have no responsibility and if anyone holds them accountable then that person, if they are white, is a racist, and if they are a minority then they are shills for the white capitalist power structure.

Just be a mature human being, suck it up and say, "I messed up. I should have moved out of my dorm by the deadline and I either should have checked and made sure there was a screen or marked it down if there wasn't. I failed at these two tasks and because of that I had to pay $250. I will learn from these two experiences and never make the same mistake again." That I could respect you for, your above whine just makes me think you are a spoiled and petulant child.

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msmimi 4 years, 3 months ago

Haskellnews / lil bird Please be informed that Linda Sue is NOT the person that you want her to be. I for one know of the scandle involving a certain football coach and did my best to not mention to anyone whenever Linda was being considered for the presidential position of Haskell. I do not currently go to school there, but do attend a college nearby. I can't prove many of the allegations that are leveled against Linda, however, do have a firm belief that those allegations are correct. I have posted numerous comments on this blog but they seem to disappear or are not printed. Is it because I can name names and this is what you don't want others to know or what?

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sierrasb 4 years, 3 months ago

As someone who has recently gone to Haskell for over two years and knows many of you whom are posting on here and who was involved in a lot of the school "politics" if you will.... I could not agree with Patrick anymore. The "situation" at hand does not boil down to one person so please don't be ignorant in believing so. While Dr. Warner has had her share of mistakes... she did do the university some good and was trying to make a change. As far as $1000 in tuition... I do not see it to be a problem if you are getting an education. The problem with a LOT of Haskell students is they go to Haskell... get the Pell grant... pay the fees... spend the pell grant after a month on the wrong things.... and then drop out for lack of good grades in classes or getting kicked out for bad choices. I knew very few students who took their education seriously. I'm not saying I didn't know any... because I did and they have serious dreams and are making them reality... but sooooo many choose not to. Now we bring in somebody who tries to implement some change... some places where it is needed and some not.. like the track field... think we would have rather had some new book or desks instead of a track field but I know what I'm paying for and as a Native student, I'm glad I had the option. It kept me and my husband debt free for our first two years of college. Did I really get an education? I must say there are very few things I learned outside of the math/science department but change is needed and people are sooooo often scared of change. Hopefully we can get Haskell a cleanse that it needs but anywhere there is "tribal" government if you will... there are politics.. and no matter the leader, someone will have a problem with him or her.

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okie 4 years, 3 months ago

I am a pround Haskell student that loves Haskell.

Its like one big family and what family isn't a little messed up or have a few black sheep in it. And as someone that has been lied straight to the face by Warner i'm glad she's gone but she wasn't the full problem. It trickles all the way down. i remember in senate meetings asking the school for the fiscal year report as far as i know we still haven't recieved any finance report. No one knows where the money goes. Where is the money for fines that students pay. How can the faculty change the student conduct book without the students(the people it applies to) knowing. Or changing prices of fines and not notify people. There are too many grey areas at haskell. When i checked out of my room this last semester i was charged 250 dollars. Fifty because i checked out late( which is a new rule they slap on us) and another two hundred because i was missing a window screen (since when are window screens 200 dollars?). I told Fast Eddie i never had a screen. he came back at me with you didn't write in down in your check in. Well when i checked in the dorms were blacked out without electricity and i was drenched by the rain. I can't afford an extra 250 dollars. I don't recieve financial aid. Besides all the BS and what not we go through we still love haskell and just want the best for it. Who wants to see this great institution go under? I could go on and on and on and on and on about corrupt stuff at haskell but where is it goin to get us. NOWHERE.

Why can't we all just get along and work together???

Hulsey

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

larryville49-- Even if you're right, the solution is a policy that applies to all students, not one directed at one student who also happens to be a vocal critic of the administration.

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

Millie

the problem with your post is that you presume to know much about Brenda, but don't and you do not really address why Dr. Warner only applied the rule to her and not other students in her situation. The only difference is that she complained. That draws the line pretty clearly between enforcing rules and abusing power.

I am not defending Brenda, she has her own set of faults, but when a rule is only enforced selectivly only when someone complains, it is retribution.

Again, both sides have failed here and both need to be cleaned up.

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larryville49 4 years, 4 months ago

A common tactic for Haskell students is to postpone a required class or enroll in it over and over again and drop it at the last minute. That way they can stay in the homeless shelter as long as possible. The record is 13 semesters with no degree. It's easy to speculate what happened with that student. As usual, administration is bound to confidentiality and the students can say anything they want. All the discussion about the dismissed student is speculation.

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haskellyte 4 years, 4 months ago

Actually, the issues surrounding Dr. Warner are exactly the point. The fact that BIE is taking seriously the allegations of a few pissed-off and seriously disturbed faculty (and perhaps a few students like Brenda Councilor), doesn't bode well for the health of the university. In other words, it was a decision based on really bad informationon. Birdwell and her boss(es) have reacted in ways that show very poor judgement; and they are responsible for the fallout.

Some have commented on the Board of Trustee's role in all this. Don't they have some responsibility to raise funds for the University? What have they done in the 10-20-30 years some of them have been on the board? I ask this because Freeland is right about one thing... this is not just about Linda Warner. The fee increase wouldn't have been needed if they were doing what they are there to do.

This is not an argument about who is driving. It's a debate about who chooses the driver and supports them on the course that they have set together. HINU is puttering along aimlessly. And if you think a university president is not essential to the success of the institution, wait a few months more and see what the ramifications of the current state of affairs turns out to be.

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jmpndafire 4 years, 4 months ago

I am curious, where could one find a CV on Wildcat, Chenault, Redman, Birdwell and Lewis? I have looked at the school's website but it is kind of hard to navigate through and some links are not available. Most postsecondary schools do have this information readily available for the public to view. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

Patrickfeeland said: "Haskell needs a bold refresh of infrastructure. ++++ And yet it is receives resistance every step of the way. This statement could be applied to every nook and cranny of the BIA, or in short, they Haskell-7 (love the new catch phrase btw) wants to bring the rez to Lawrence!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"bozo, if as you say you I know very little of the inner politics of Haskell, then why do you insist on posting about this?"

I don't know-- why are you?

"Also, do you even know the meaning of “passive/aggressive” as you call it? "

It wasn't intended as a psychological evaluation. But one common trait of someone with passive-aggressive tendencies is to not deal with conflicts with other people in a direct and open manner. I'd say that pretty well describes the expulsion/forced graduation.

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firstnation101 4 years, 4 months ago

sounds like the same person is posting, oh i forgot, she has multiple personalities....anyways...i highly doubt the students except for the one posting is upset about warner leaving, why don't you report and ask the student senate president..duh! ask people ask! don't just ASSume...that person who was graduated, didn't ask for the class to be waived, when you ask for class to be waived you initially start the process...she never did...the one thing is for sure, she was the one writing to BIE officials about Warner...and surprise she was shown the door.

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Patrick Freeland 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that it's fair to say that Brenda was using Haskell as homeless shelter. I knew her pretty well, and although I didn't keep tabs on her grades or count the time that she had been there, I did see her as an active student. Brenda was pushing for accountability, and maybe she pushed too hard. Granted, she was a little rough around the edges, almost comically so, but a freeloader? I would say no.

The big problem with this Dr. Warner debate is that it misses the point. Some of the underlying problems are symptoms of a flawed bureaucratic system. But this isn't to say that all aspects of the university are flawed, in fact the positive aspects that the university provides vastly outweigh the negatives. So to say Haskell is doomed with or without Dr. Warner is incredibly myopic in scope.

Haskell needs a bold refresh of infrastructure. It's like an old car that's falling apart, with a few new parts it could run even better than before, but arguing about who is driving does no good.

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KansasPerson 4 years, 4 months ago

bozo, if as you say you I know very little of the inner politics of Haskell, then why do you insist on posting about this?

Also, do you even know the meaning of "passive/aggressive" as you call it? Serious misuse of the term!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"The student that was graduated was simply using Haskell as a homeless shelter she continued to prolong and prolong her time at Haskell even though she was in her 50's!! She should be happy to have a degree so now she can get a job and support herself."

Sorry, but your personal attack against this person doesn't justify singling her out for expulsion/forced graduation. If there is a good reason for preventing any and all students from doing whatever it is you and Warner think she did wrong, write a policy that applies to all students.

Since no such policy exists, this indicates that kicking her out was just a convenient way of getting rid of a troublesome critic.

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millie 4 years, 4 months ago

The student that was graduated was simply using Haskell as a homeless shelter she continued to prolong and prolong her time at Haskell even though she was in her 50's!! She should be happy to have a degree so now she can get a job and support herself. No Dr.Warner is not a warm fuzzy leader, she should not be her job is to be firm and direct after all her employees are not in romper room or are they???. I wonder why people comment on this so much could not possibly be because she is a woman could it?? The one thing she is, is that she is out there for her students she cares deeply for them. haskellyte great post !! Mr.Dolph Simon I congratulate you on an article well done, keep up the good work!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"Yes, she can be very direct and firm."

The expulsion/forced graduation of a dissident student shows that she can also be extremely passive/aggressive.

So which is her dominant personality trait?

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haskellyte 4 years, 4 months ago

Those poor beleagured (7) faculty had it so bad under Dr. Warner, it's amazing they could concentrate on their teaching! And then the gall of her, to begin the make them teach a full schedule of classes. What a dictator! How could anyone work for such a woman?

Yes, she can be very direct and firm. She is not a warm and fuzzy administrator. She rubs some people the wrong way. But what many don't know about her is that she is a tireless supporter of students and she made her administrative team work their butts off to improve services at Haskell. She didn't accept excuses and she never made them for herself. She yelled at the games and truly believed in the ARCH values - and she always, always asked, "How does this help students? How does it make their lives better?"

That is why she wanted to raise fees; because she knew the government would take years to commit the funds necessary to modernize Haskell's technology infrastructure - if they ever did. And that is unacceptable as we begin this 2nd decade of the 21st century.

That is why she wanted the staff to work harder and faculty to teach more classes, so they could do more with less, initiate new programs - grow the university despite perennial underfunding!

The expert higher education leaders at BIE seem to have a better plan. I'd like to see it. I'd like to hear it. I'd be asking to see and hear it if I were a student.

Dr. Warner certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea, and she has her faults - as we all do - but she had a plan and she was pushing for it - and it was all for the benefit of the students, not her.

It's a shame...

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

they're against Mrs. Warner's form of dictatorship. ++++ And the students are the ones who are paying for their tizzy-fit. The students that they serve.

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Mike Ford 4 years, 4 months ago

These seven professors aren't against "Progress?", they're against Mrs. Warner's form of dictatorship.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Geekin-- The student who was "graduated" was in no way extraordinary in the length of time she had been at Haskell. It isn't unusual for students to extend their undergraduate period in order to do double majors, add minors or just take a few classes of interest outside their majors. It happens all the time at universities all over the country, including KU.

If the president of Haskell believed that that was not acceptable at Haskell, for whatever reason, what she should have done was implement a policy that would apply to every student at Haskell. To pick out one person, with virtually no notice, and implement such a "policy" indicates clearly that the only reason for this "graduation" was to silence a critic.

I know very little of the inner politics of Haskell-- of either the president or her supposed nemeses, the sinister seven professors. But the incident with this "graduation" tells me all I need to know about the professionalism and leadership ability, or lack thereof, of President Warner.

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

"This leader graduated a Haskell student early to get that student off of the Haskell campus because she was critical of Mrs. Warner." ++++ She was granted a waiver for a GE class, is what I read. Which is the reason why people go to college. People go to college to graduate. Most do anyway.

Most go so that they can look for a better job or go on to grad school. Others go to college to enhance themselves and leave a better person because of their experience. Some just go, and leave with the same baggage they came with. Some students use Haskell as a hammock. Or as one poster put it;a homeless shelter.

I understand that student had completed four years and was waived a single course. One that apparently held no weight toward her degree requirements.

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Mike Ford 4 years, 4 months ago

It's ironic that a Republican paper pusher is supporting a Republican Native person who runs things at Haskell about as well as the Bush Administration ran this country into the ground.

It's a FEMA style nightmare when a dictator like administrator forces larger classes and loigistical nightmares by putting Haskell students into classes without enough books to go around, This leader graduated a Haskell student early to get that student off of the Haskell campus because she was critical of Mrs. Warner. It's funny that this person is being defended for the bad job she's done. FYI, taxpayers pay taxes to the federal government who in turn relies on the U.S. Congress and it's plenary power to pay for the land it took to create this country and provide education as required since the Civilization Act of 1820 was passed, providing for the education of Native students in return for the cession of lands via treaty. If you the taxpayers don't like this arrangement, you can always give the land back.

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

Well, I am glad that besides the usual culprit, (marion) this thread has remained not about race, but about the leadership of Haskell.

Marion has been freaking out since they announced the end of the white majority, it is taking a toll on him. He is still trying to convince us the Holocaust was over-exagerated.

However, the debate here is the same as anywhere else. Everyone is saying Dr. Warner failed OR the group of teachers have failed.

No one has the gumption, values or honestly to say that both sides have failed and both sides need to be cleaned up.

It is black or white, us vs. them. Win at all costs no matter the truth.

When you do that, you fail..you fail yourself, you fail America, you fail you point of view.

A fair and balanced approach...admit that Dr. Warner could not gather consensus even if she tried (and she did not) and that the malcontents seized on her weakness to grow their point.

Both failed and both need to be addressed.

I realize simpletons and dittoheads prefer the see the world as only one side or the other, but reality begs to differ. Shades of grey abound.

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mgnc 4 years, 4 months ago

The great Dolph has spoken! This editorial is, dare I say, the bomb. Who knew a newspaper could publish such biased and ridiculously written editorials? And on the front page! Win!

I would not be surprised if federal officials investigate the LJW... for being so freaking awesome!

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 4 months ago

Geekin, I think your 9:32a.m. is your best post ever on this board, including the cont'ed.

Haskel could and should be a great institution, and in the process fulfill the treaty obligations as well as providing this population much-needed college access and support.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 4 months ago

Bring back Dr. Warner and this time give her the institutional support she deserves. and the comments above describing her negatively either come from people with no direct experience with her, or they're part of the problem identified in Simon's editorial, the seven at Haskell.

I did work for her, and she was excellent, motivating, and had positive expectations. I will add I found her to be friendly and supportive, too.


Boozo can't deal with arguments against big government, they sorta make his brain, such as it is, have a little internal earthquake. he believes that his ill informed maunderings are smarter than what the founders of the U.S. put into the constitution, pretty self-proud, eh?

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firstnation101 4 years, 4 months ago

you know, they should ask, why was Ol Ted Wright was let go, that is an interesting story, and oh who was he hired by...oh yeah....there is more to this story...ask!

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luckycharmz 4 years, 4 months ago

Exactly time they stop treating Haskell students like.... answer the congressman's questions and send back Dr.Warner!

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 4 months ago

Know what I think?

I think the Federal government, currently headed by a half-black/half-white guy should let the Native Americans run their own darn school; that's what I think.

If the Federal government doesn't want to meet its treaty obligations (Which it clearly does not!), the Native Americans should use their power as sovereign nations to tell the Feds to go pound sand.

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 4 months ago

HAHAHA, Yea sure Federal officials need to investigate this...

maybe they should focus on current cases they are/have been investigating for 5 years.....

I bet you people dont want the same Circus that's happening to the yellow house to happen to Haskell

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millie 4 years, 4 months ago

Students choose Haskell because of it's low tuition and yes they do walk out loan free, Haskell does not allow it's students to make use of the federal government loans. If the Haskell board of Regents had been doing their job Dr.Warner would not have had to look at raising the fees. A lot of Haskell students get their fees paid for by their tribes and the American tax payers in form of financial aid ( free grants, etc) so raising fees to a 1,000 should not have been a big deal. I consider that still getting a free education and Dr.Warner was just trying to get some nicer things like computers, etc for the students with that money. Now however the time has come for someone to take a deeper look at Haskell. Is it really worth the cost of keeping it open anymore, especially in light of the fact the BIE runs out great presidents like Dr.Warner ( something is very wrong with that picture) and put a social worker in charge of their schools. Native people wake up the BIE is ripping you off. With 250 employees and only 900 students Haskell is no longer worth the cost of keeping it's doors open. Native students now have many tribal colleges to chose from go to them for a couple of years get your AA then transfer for a BA. Haskell( BIE) has dropped the ball on you.

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Machiavelli_mania 4 years, 4 months ago

Dolph wants his sw traffic way. Poop on ya, big boy!!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"The same government that runs Haskell is about to run all Americans healthcare. Scary!"

Not nearly as scary as knowing that there are actually people who would post such tripe.

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mikerotch61 4 years, 4 months ago

"Cowboy (Anonymous) says… Can any of the Haskell readers enlighten me on why anyone would choose Haskell for their college experience ? Given the choices out there , i.e. your home CC's and then on to your home Universities , why Haskell ? Are you debt free when you graduate ? Is it the culture of Haskell that helps get these kids thru the first couple years ? Looking at the grad rate there is something quite wrong here , understanding that it's a tough place where some of these kids come from."

I've never been to Haskell, but they offer very low tuition - $215 (http://cjonline.com/news/state/2009-10-23/haskell_could_charge_tuition). Part of the problem with Warner, maybe the main problem, is she wanted to raise it to $1000. If you're willing to pay that much, you can choose local colleges.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 4 months ago

The same government that runs Haskell is about to run all Americans healthcare. Scary!

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cowboy 4 years, 4 months ago

Can any of the Haskell readers enlighten me on why anyone would choose Haskell for their college experience ? Given the choices out there , i.e. your home CC's and then on to your home Universities , why Haskell ? Are you debt free when you graduate ? Is it the culture of Haskell that helps get these kids thru the first couple years ? Looking at the grad rate there is something quite wrong here , understanding that it's a tough place where some of these kids come from.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"The BIE has let a small group of employees dictate to them in the form of The Haskell Employees Union and just like the down fall of Chrysler I fear the Haskell Employees Union will be the down fall of Haskell. "

Aside from the most virulent anti-unionists (are you among them?) you'll find little support for the contention that it was the unions that have been the main cause of Chrysler's many ongoing difficulties. A rather inauspicious way to begin your post, as it discredits everything that follows.

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mkolo 4 years, 4 months ago

It is a sad time for Haskell. The BIE has let a small group of employees dictate to them in the form of The Haskell Employees Union and just like the down fall of Chrysler I fear the Haskell Employees Union will be the down fall of Haskell. Stephanie Birdwell didn't know know how to handle them so better to send Dr.Warner off shut up the union and forget about the betterment of the students. Has Haskell become so corrupt that even a congressman can not can answers about it from the BIE? Dr.Warner is a leader and far advanced in her vision for Haskell. However she is not a kindergarten type of leader. She expects employees to be employees and do the work that they are employed to do. Dr.Warner doesn't cuddle or play SHE WORKS. That group of trouble markers at Haskell (we all know who you are) needs to go. Unfortunately with all of Haskell's troubles and only about 900 students a semester can the taxpayers justify Haskell's cost any longer? Probably not. Looks like the BIE won they never wanted Haskell to begin with so they got rid of a leader ( Dr.Warner) who could take it places and put in charge Stephanie Birdwell who did not know what she was doing and in the process destroyed what was left of Haskell.

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anon1958 4 years, 4 months ago

It appears the time has come for a deep, thorough investigation of what is going on at Haskell Indian Nations University.


DANGER! The end times approach, I actually agree with something Dolph wrote in an editorial.

An investigation really will not help too much unless Haskell is funded at some reasonable level and numerous incompetent faculty and mid-level administrators are replaced.

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larryville49 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, Mr. Simon, for addressing this. Haskell has one of the largest payrolls in the county. If it goes under Lawrence businesses lose a chunk of change

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drillsgt 4 years, 4 months ago

the acting president is terrible

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

Two words from our posts bozo, potential and proper, are why. There is no agreeable structure that bridge the two concepts at this point. Dr. Warner was working hard to bring the span into reality.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

It seems to me that a proper education at Haskell would prepare its students to gain the knowledge and skills to fend for themselves in the wider world AND to push the federal government to honor its treaty and other obligations to Indians. Why should those two things be mutually exclusive?

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

con't... While it is easy to see where Indian people have gotten the shaft, to become obsessed over it is neither helpful nor productive to the future of native America. It is possible to retain your identity while learning something new and Haskell is not the place for teaching anti assimilation. God forbid, should Haskell ever be closed, then what? The students would be holding themselves while proclaiming un-assimilation? This is not the vision that I would have for native students of Haskell and this scenario could be all too real. Teach Math, Science, Finance, Leadership so if Armageddon does come to Haskell, the people will be able to continue their educational and professional careers with little to no interruption.

Teaching the injustices of the past is a way to prevent them in the future but to light a fire of determination, only to stifle it by preventing new degree programs from becoming reality and providing a staff that refuses to work an entire day is nothing more than a continuation of those injustices and it is too bad that Haskell's student body are the only ones who suffer. Why some students stand in support of this is beyond me but I hope that most will recognize the situation and transfer, or graduate already(I say this only for some), so that they can return to build an academically strong Haskell that is staffed by people with the student's, that is the one that they serve, best interests in mind.

I realize that I have no current first hand knowledge of what is going on at Haskell but from these blogs, and from street level talkytalky, this is the conclusion that I have reached and in no way do I imply that this is the actual situation, lest I be spanked.

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geekin_topekan 4 years, 4 months ago

patrickfreedland said, "the statement smacks of connotation along the lines of assimilation." ++++ Patrick, its an institution that has the potential to provide a broad education so that Indians can go into the world and achieve greater things for themselves, or for their people, depending upon the level of assimilation that they choose to participate. Yes, I said choose, as in, the students have a choice as to whether they would like to learn to care for themselves (and their families) only, or for their tribe's welfare, and there is nothing wrong with either choice. Which ever way that the student prefers to look at the world, Haskell should be the stepping stone to get them into such a position.

To teach students that they have every right to sit and wait for the gubment to provide for them, seems to be a level of pro-assimilation that I read in patrick's statement. Get your degree and go forth and conquer,advance or throw it all to the wind. Either way, take what the gubment is giving via Haskell and move on. Don't teach the students to depend on the great father, because he hasn't fully fulfilled any promise from the past and I think the chances of him ever doing so are about the same as Jesus returning before X-mas (so I can take these presents back).

Haskell is not Romper Room but it appears as if some employees prefer the master/subordinate relationship of days past. It is as if they don't want the students to achieve higher learning and leadership positions, but prefer to fancy themselves as school masters who have control over another human being, and this appears to be the relationship that is threatened and to be exposed as such, would place them back into the "real world" where they would have no chance of survival. I understand why they would fight advancement of the students and the reality based views of Dr. Warner. Without the continued master/subordinate relationship, they would be unable to live in the real world. Look at how "put out" they were when Dr. Warner was making them work 8 hr. shifts. It is not a matter of convenience for them, it is because they are unqualified to be anywhere but Haskell, and the student bodies of today and the future are paying for their subsidized half-measure lifestyle.

To be continued...

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barrypenders 4 years, 4 months ago

Is this another example of Progressive Articulate Government training center that can't figure out how to assimilate into a Free Market? It seems so.

Stimulus, Assimilation and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

While an investigation may or may not be warranted, it sounds to me that Dolph has already made up is mind about certain "lardbutts" and "nattering nabobs of negativism" on the Haskell campus, which required no investigation at all.

And if an investigation is really required, why not dispatch one of your reporters, Dolph? Isn't that what newspapers are supposed to do?

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

While making some very good points that need to be considered, there are 2 things presented as fact here that are highly questionable.

While Dr. Warner is a very bright and future thinking person, she is not adept at leadership, She does not inspire people to want to follow her. She is brusk and does not know how to at least to pretend to listen and respond to criticism. Those qualities are essential in a leader and Dr. Warner does not posses them. Leadership must combine a good balance of wisdom, brains and vision. Dr. Warner has never had the proper balance of all 3.

Further, one would be very blind if they think that all the friction can be boiled down to 7 trouble makers. I do NOT disagree that these people exist, but the problems are far greater than that and again, I refer back to Dr. Warner's leadership, knowing that the stalwarts exist, they should have been first on Dr. Warner's list to win over or knock or set them up to expose themselves.

There are problems on both sides.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 4 months ago

What is going on? This commentary left that out.

Talequah,Oklahoma is a beautiful small college town surrounded by mountains of green. This is known as " Green Country" which encompasses a bit a Arkansas as well. A beautiful Lake Tenkiller is nearby. The climate can be mild even throughout the winter.

Many horticultural nurseries in the area.

Lots of native american activity throughout this region of Oklahoma. Talequah is beautiful.

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Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

Oh Dolph you know it has always been about assimilation. By definition assimilation is to make weaker ethnic groups indistingishable from the "superior" group. This shuffling of those who seek the best interest of Haskell students is just another form of oppression. The BIA has been successful in their mission.. Now the white man's organizational issues are freely shared with the indian people. Just because the BIA fills leadership positions with indian people does not mean the indian people have a say in how things go. The white man created indian boarding schools in order to control the people. They can change what they call it; junior college, indian nations university or any other catchy title; in the end it is still the white man's baby. It always has been and it always will be.

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Patrick Freeland 4 years, 4 months ago

"Haskell is a unique and important university,"

I agree wholeheartedly. As for its "mission of helping prepare American Indians to be involved, contributing members of today’s 'real world,'" I don't agree so much, as the many nations that comprise Haskell have so many different worldviews. It could be a rhetorical misunderstanding, but to me, the statement smacks of connotation along the lines of assimilation.

I prefer this Haskell mission statement

"The mission of Haskell Indian Nations University, a land grant institution, is to serve members of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native nations as authorized by Congress and in partial fulfillment of treaty and trust obligations. With student learning as its focus, Haskell embraces the principles of sovereignty and self-determination through a culturally based holistic lifelong learning environment that promotes and upholds respect, rights, and responsibility."

Self-determination and sovereignty are some pretty complex concepts, and mainstream academia isn't always holistically compatible with certain cultures. As for an inquiry into the university, it's a sticky situation indeed, and perhaps it deserves a much larger scope than the current frame of the university president's detail. I'm optimistic in regards to the university's future nonetheless!

Peace and Love to all peoples!

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