Haskell Indian Nations University’s president, its the board of regents and federal officials found common ground this week.
“It just reaffirmed what we always believe: We are a policymaking advisory board,” said George Tiger, regents vice chairman.
The meeting in Washington, D.C., came after regents had voiced concerns several times since Linda Sue Warner took over as Haskell president in 2007. Members of the Bureau of Indian Education, which oversees Haskell, and other federal officials attended the meeting.
Finding a way for regents and Haskell administrators to communicate better was a major topic of the meeting, Warner and Tiger said.
“We strategized about ways we could keep them in the loop faster,” Warner said Friday.
Tiger said the communication strategy was important.
The two sides also moved closer to agreeing on a memorandum of understanding — to be signed later this year — that outlines specific roles for regents, he said.
Tiger said he was pleased at progress made during the meeting.
Tensions between Warner and the regents ran high last August — and regents asked federal officials to remove Warner as president. They expressed concerns about possible irregularities in accounting, procurement and hiring practices, but federal officials this week reiterated to regents that they found no merit in the allegations.
Warner said she was also able to talk to the six regents in attendance about developments in new programs at Haskell.
Several regents, Warner and other Haskell officials were in Washington for a reception to honor 125 years of Haskell at the National Museum of the American Indian.