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Archive for Sunday, January 18, 2009

Haskell president under fire again

Endowment association dissolves, citing cooperation difficulties

January 18, 2009

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Haskell endowment group votes to disband in protest of Warner

Haskell Indian Nations University President Linda Warner has come under fire numerous times in her short tenure. Enlarge video

Haskell Endowment Association has dissolved after board members said Haskell Indian Nations University President Linda Warner refused to work with the organization.

“We haven’t had any cooperation from Haskell, which is insane because all we’re trying to do is raise funds for the university,” said Doug Holiday, who was on the board of the endowment before it dissolved on Thursday.

Both Holiday and fellow board member Judy Wright said board members had become frustrated with a lack of cooperation from Warner.

“The new president attended one meeting, and she never communicated with us again,” said Wright, who is a veteran fundraiser with the Kansas University Endowment Association. “We repeatedly wrote her and tried to set up meetings. She just didn’t have an interest in working with us.”

Allegations denied

Warner on Friday said she was surprised to hear that the association had disbanded. But she denied the allegations that she had not cooperated with the nonprofit organization.

“In my recollection, they have never asked for a meeting that I haven’t attended,” Warner said.

Holiday said the board and its attorney sent both letters and e-mails to the president’s office, and did not receive a response.

The association was formed four years ago at the urging of then-Haskell President Karen Swisher. The organization spent about three years obtaining its status as a nonprofit corporation. Holiday said fundraising began this year.

Fundraising had been going well. The organization had $90,000 in an account when it disbanded Thursday. The board agreed to forward that money to the American Indian College Fund, with the request that it be earmarked for Haskell students.

“There was a great deal of interest from the alumni,” Wright said.

Both Holiday and Wright said they believed that Warner had concerns that the endowment association’s board was independent of the university.

“The corporation was set up to be independent, but its sole purpose was to serve the university,” Wright said. She added that also is how the Kansas University Endowment Association is structured. “I think that independence might have been troubling.”

Warner denied that she was bothered by the independence of the board.

“The beauty of that board is that it is independent,” Warner said.

Warner said she was uncertain whether another endowment association would be established for the university. She said that any new association would have to be formed by individuals because the university itself could not form such an association.

Supporters, critics

The endowment association became the second university group to express concerns about Warner. In August, the Haskell Board of Regents asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs to remove Warner.

Warner’s boss at the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday again expressed support for Warner’s work at the university.

“We think she’s a tremendous asset to the organization and the school,” said Stephanie Birdwell, who oversees post-secondary education for the Bureau of Indian Education.

George Tiger, vice chairman of the Haskell Board of Regents, said Friday that he was disappointed that the endowment association had disbanded. He said the Board of Regents was trying to work with Warner, but he stopped short of saying the board was pleased with the current leadership at Haskell.

“I don’t know that the concerns have been resolved,” Tiger said.

In August, the 15-member Board of Regents asked the Bureau of Indian Education to investigate possible irregularities in accounting, procurement and hiring practices at Haskell under Warner’s supervision.

Birdwell on Friday declined to comment on the concerns that the Board of Regents has expressed about Warner.

Comments

Patrick Freeland 5 years ago

Haskell is a very special place. I listen to the words that students like Brenda Councilor speak about her administrative graduation. I listen to the words that Linda Sue Warner speak about "Cheese from taco bell" as an example for asking for funding. I listen to Haskell Student senate executives arguing about money and financial vagueries while failing to follow their own constitution. I listen to Al Gipp promoting Healthier Haskell to tour groups that I lead of students that come from all over the nation to visit Haskell and hopefully someday attend it. I listen to Dan Wildcat as he talks about the Medicine Wheel, a sacred place on Haskell's Campus. I listen to students as everyday they tell me stories of who is doing something wrong.

Nobody is perfect, especially in Indian Country. Oral tradition is key in most indigenous cultures, and documentation is key in most governmental structures. I hear alot of things, both good and bad about everyone, but rarely do I see associated documentation. I see constitutions, CFR's, policy flow-charts, and resolutions, but rarely do I ever hear of anyone acting accordingly. The Oral/Written threshold yields an interesting array of cultural interpretation. As a Haskell Student I don't focus on the things people say nor the written policy, rather I base my judgement upon action. I'd rather be an active citizen of not only Haskell, but the Lawrence Community, the Muscogee Nation, the United States of America, and the World. In my experience, it seems many who complain rarely ever act, and most who act, act foolishly.

So Linda Sue Warner, good or evil? Irrelevent, her office is dictated by black and white rules that can be mutated by public policy. Just like any other government official, her actions are determined by the people. If more people were to take an active role in their communities and excercise their civil responsibilities, there would not be so much controversy, however as with any decision of one made for many, there will always be protest.

All that being said, I am proud to be attending Haskell Indian Nations University, this is the only college that I chose to attend and I have learned about not only my tribe but the tribes of hundreds of others. There is no other tribal, private, or state university like Haskell. It rests amid many sacred places and it seems some forget about how truly beautiful this place is. I haven't forgotten and I am reminded every day.

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rooper 5 years, 3 months ago

a reason for all the trouble that people see as Linda Warner could be all those people who used to work at haskell that were stealing and getting away with it or those people unqualified for their position or those who hide out all day and get paid for it. once they were found out, they quit, resigned or got fired. all while warner was president. these individuals probably are leading all this noise from the background trying to get Warner out. I think we need some responsible natives up there in the higher ups and Warner seems to be one. and if people are doing their jobs to the best and striving for better, that will begin to show and shut up all those being led about by the nose to make noise.

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brizhunter 5 years, 3 months ago

wow, here we go again with the mud slinging. with natives like the "friends of haskell", it is no wonder we lost our lands. a bunch of cry babies would rather rant and lie instead of work to achieve any common goal. The foundation, i would suspect is not an organization that comes under the direction of the President of Haskell. How can those lame brained jokers blame anyone but themselves? Oh well, i remember people like Abbey Hoffman, who stood up and whined about a lot things in the past, got national media attention, only be shown in true light as real loser. my guess, the so called friends of Haskell no doubt mimic these types of media seeking worms. SHUT UP and GO to WORK, Stop asking people to do your job for you, stop blaming them when you fail. That is definitely not a native trait! oh well, so much for trying to find that sort of thing on this crappy papers web site. Does the Lawrence Journal have nothing better to do, except post crap about Dr. Warner? Seriously, is this story really news worthy? It should be about of bunch idiots who can not for the life of them, raise money. You know why? Real smart people, do not want anything to do with them. The same people who speak out about Haskell are the same ones who were working for the Foundation. SUPRISE!!!!!!! now lawrence you have the real story. something your crappy paper would not dare print. not sensational enough!

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beobachter 5 years, 3 months ago

friendofhaskell, you are still just posting rants. Please post some facts, not innuendo and rumors.

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friendofhaskell 5 years, 3 months ago

Haskell was a university before Warner learned the word indigenous. Her professional experience is not in higher education but mostly as a principal in BIA rez grade schools. The changes she's made are about taking Haskell backward so we can celebrate the next 125 years of oppression. Silencing dissent by throwing students and employees out who stand up for Haskell, cronyism, hiring friends w/o advertising, using Haskell funds for her network of friends to come and play while the mission of this institution is gutted is not progress. This is old school BIA and she is an expert in creating conflict to divert attention away from what she's doing to Haskell. That's what's being rejected.

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buzzy 5 years, 3 months ago

I believe that some of the problems at Haskell stem from the changes that Dr. Warner has made. There are employees there who still treat Haskell as if it were a boarding school. Dr. Warner came in saw those problems and started to weed some of those people out. It's not that they were bad people a lot of them were simply unable to change. They had attended Haskell when it was a boarding school and continued to treat it that way after it became a University. It was as if someone simply changed the name to University and then continued to go about business as if it were a boarding school. That is until Dr. Warner showed up saw the problems and attempted to fix them. Things like " room checks " are not things a University is made up of. Neither is having a library that is closed all day on Saturdays these are only a few of the many problems Haskell faces now. However a lot of Haskell employees are resisited to change even down to using students to fight their battles which is sad. Under Dr. Warner a lot of postive things have happened and more need to made. I give her kudos for being the one person who has truly tried to make Haskell a University.

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 3 months ago

friendofhaskell. you posted a rant, no facts.Friend of haskell is is telling you how it is on the Haskell campus in a round about way. 90 grand is just a number that was thrown out there, possibly more. This has nothing to do with Race, either. If Dr. Warner is part of the Tribe that she says she is than she may need to shed her skin and sew up the forked tongue and reveal the truth for a better understanding.

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kcwarpony 5 years, 3 months ago

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community donated 150k to the endowment last year. Apparently 50k went to the RED Center (which if I remember correctly was a program created by Ms. Warner) and the rest was to go towards the support of the Haskell Endowment Association. Also, the SMSC grant was to be matched with funds from the United States Department of Education.http://www.ccsmdc.org/press/2008/20080630.htmlI have no idea what is going on at Haskell these days (it seems nobody wants to talk) but with this kind of money at stake, it needs to stop.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

I am beginning to empathize with Warner's alleged lack of enthusiasm for the Regents and endowment meetings.So far not a shred of evidence and not a single example has been presented but plenty of selfrighteous mudslinging.And when race is inserted as a weapon("spoken like a true white man...Gotta love white privilege")all credibility has gone out the window.I imagine that any support that this media play hoped to drum up has been exposed to the reality of this situation with that one racist and seperatist statement.Idiot.

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justme2 5 years, 3 months ago

AND nothing about HINU is FREE. Everything was paid for by the lives of Native people. The only thing that is free is that the US government feels FREE to renege on treaties signed with tribal nations. Idiot.

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justme2 5 years, 3 months ago

topeka geek-spoken like a true white man who doesn't know what he is talking about, yet feels privileged enough to comment. Gotta love white privilege.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

Healthy Haskell & the Red Center.+++Umm,OK.Those are words.I can do that too.Free Parking and Oatmeal.Surely there is more to the example than this.

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justme2 5 years, 3 months ago

"friendofhaskell. you posted a rant, no facts."No, this person posted the facts. This is an administration of tyranny, people on campus are afraid to speak out. especially since the BIA backs this administration, which isn't surprising considering the history of the BIA. You want examples? Healthy Haskell & the Red Center.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

"$90,000 I agree, not much."+++Apparently not enough to intimidate Dr.Warner!!LOL

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

so, again, Manus and "friend" can't produce one (1) concrete example. I think my comments are proven correct. some say dr. warner isn't "indian enough" whatever that means. if someone comes in to change and grow an institution, there's going to be growing pains. sadly, some are fanning a fake controversy to fight change it seems. remember the "DVD campaign" several months ago. somebody's putting a lot of effort into this. $90,000 I agree, not much.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

Seems Haskell could be so much more than it's current incarnation.+++Sounds to me as if that is what Warner is thinking also;to provide the best facility and staff that money can buy with her limited funding.Weeding out dead weight and expecting the capable to step up,give 110% and act as federal employees is hardly evil or cunning.It just makes sense.I imagine that there are a few who would be opposed to such expectations if they have been conditioned to anything less.

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cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like she stirred up a pot , whether the pot needed stirring I guess is a matter of opinion. just an outsiders opinion but if all the endowment group was able to raise was 90,000 perhaps Haskell would be better off with a new group of movers and shakers. 90 grand isn't going to buy much in todays academic world. Seems also there might be an argument over who's actually in charge. Endowment groups are fundraisers , not administrative advisors. I can see where these clashes might occur. just interested in what's going on ! Seems Haskell could be so much more than it's current incarnation.

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beobachter 5 years, 3 months ago

friendofhaskell. you posted a rant, no facts.

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friendofhaskell 5 years, 3 months ago

The evidence is found in another group of respected business and education professionals who have disbanded because of the refusal of this president to work with those dedicated to the future of haskell. I'm told if you dare question spending, priorities, policies or refuse to bow to the system of patronage to the president, she has no use for you on HER campus. It should be deeply alarming that a college campus is paralyzed by fear of retaliation, reprisal, and demonization, reportedly rampant among employees long dedicated to high quality education, a priority long before warner. Perhaps this explains why the entire administrative infrastructure has been operating with a revolving door of acting administrators over the past year and faculty and staff vacancies are at a record high. It is her way or the highway in a pervasive culture of exclusivity that exempts warner and company from rules that govern the rest of haskell and the federal government. Those favored and seeking favor are more than willing to speak to her wonder while everyone else struggles to survive tyranny.

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flamingdragon 5 years, 3 months ago

so what exactly has she done wrong?what are these 'evil ways of doing business'?is anybody going to sac-up and actually name some situation in which this woman has done something?maybe you misunderestimated her.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

So in other words,no evidence or examples are necessary?C'mon,how can Haskell possibly be compared to the global economy?

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 3 months ago

So far,noone has even dared to present a single piece of evidence or example of wrongdoing.It is clearly understood that some do not like Warner's policy and her way of doing business, but that is hardly newsworthy.Somewhat of a comparison, without taking sides, irregardless. A balancing act with limited information on (file)threats and misappropriated monies. We never saw that George W. Bush. Instead, his presidential administration was relentlessly partisan.Not only were Democrats shut out, they also were demonized and painted as soft on national defense if they had the temerity to raise questions about surveillance or interrogation techniques. His "my way or the highway" pursuit of policy was among the missed opportunities of his presidency. In attempting to set up Republican domination of the union, he sowed the seeds for his party's later deterioration at the polls.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

"..hanging around that have zero vision and want to do things the way it has always been done."+++Pretty much,huh.So far,noone has even dared to present a single piece of evidence or example of wrongdoing.It is clearly understood that some do not like Warner's policy and her way of doing business, but that is hardly newsworthy.This sounds similar to my teenaged daughter's whines of "You don't listen"I do listen and I hear,but I don't succumb because she is not capable of making a safe and educated decision on the issue at hand.

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Larry_The_Moocher 5 years, 3 months ago

Anyone stop to think she just might be fighting the entrinchment that is in every organization, from churches, to non profit clubs? I would only guess that there are some "Old timers" hanging around that have zero vision and want to do things the way it has always been done.I dont know... just a thought, seems I remember a "Money" fight during the last administration.

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okndn 5 years, 3 months ago

As a Haskell grad, it's disturbing to read about dissention at my former school.That said, where there's smoke, there's fire. Controversy has followed Warner during her tenure. Someone is lying in this story - the Endowment Association or Warner-----“In my recollection, they have never asked for a meeting that I haven’t attended,” Warner said.Holiday said the board and its attorney sent both letters and e-mails to the president’s office, and did not receive a response.-----If Warner is caught in a lie, will she admit it? Or do the words "In my recollection" save her?It's an embarassing situation at Haskell.

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Katara 5 years, 3 months ago

friendofhaskell (Anonymous) says…This president seems to have alienated every group of people a college president should be working with from the regents, to the tribes, to faculty, to alumni, to students, and now the endowment board. Imagine the fate of the chancellor if he refused or was incapable of working constructively with anyone in the University or in the community and instead continually attacked every group questioning his antics with the mantra, “they're just a few against change who aren't real jayhawks”. This behavior wouldn't be tolerated, excused, ignored, accepted or overlooked. He sure wouldn't be receiving glowing endorsements from the govenor for creating such a mess with taxpayer money with each new crises reported in the press.~~~~~~~~~~~~I'm just as confused as cowboy on this. How has she not worked constructively or alienated people? Can you provide some concrete examples so we have an idea of what you mean?

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friendofhaskell 5 years, 3 months ago

This president seems to have alienated every group of people a college president should be working with from the regents, to the tribes, to faculty, to alumni, to students, and now the endowment board. Imagine the fate of the chancellor if he refused or was incapable of working constructively with anyone in the University or in the community and instead continually attacked every group questioning his antics with the mantra, "they're just a few against change who aren't real jayhawks". This behavior wouldn't be tolerated, excused, ignored, accepted or overlooked. He sure wouldn't be receiving glowing endorsements from the govenor for creating such a mess with taxpayer money with each new crises reported in the press.

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pelliott 5 years, 3 months ago

Warner was placed there to be a toady that won't fight as they strip the school of it's gains. She is no supporter, she is the strip miner. Thank the wormholes in Washington.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

"...The alumni are the ideal avenue for helping to produce a quality education at Haskell via the Endowment."+++Now,who has an agenda?

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beobachter 5 years, 3 months ago

Has she offended the native community or just a very few with a narrow point of view and not caring about students?

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cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

Just a dumb white guy but I'm still confused. seems to me that Haskell is an important part of the community and , if it is as dysfunctional as a resignation of an endowment group indicates , perhaps the truth should come out. How has she offended the native community ?

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

when I worked with Dr. Warner, I found her to be thoughtful, considerate and very caring about students. I doubt this has changed. my guess is this is one misunderstanding, just a misunderstanding, being fanned by people who actually oppose the changes she's bringing to HINU. ***successful in their education. Instead, they are focused on their own little, petty agendas. Sad, and definitely not the Native American way.or, is this your way of saying she's "not indian enough?"I do believe you, and the "four tribes" made up your minds on Warner before you gave her a fair time to lead at HINU, and much of the trouble and controversy is being caused by this opposition, and not her. students suffer. stop it.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

"...she has surrounded herself with people...they are focused on their own little, petty agendas"+++And what agendas are those?Name one.Just one.

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justme2 5 years, 3 months ago

Sypeccary-if you know what is happening at HINU, then you know exactly who I am referring to.

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sypeccary 5 years, 3 months ago

You are correct geekin_topekan, logrithmic and beobachter.So, justme2, can you please enlighten readers as to who these the "unethical" individuals are whom Warner has favored? Names names and be specific as to what they have done to render themselves so "unethical."As one who does know what is happening at HINU, my feeling is that you and the other flies should be ashamed of yourselves. And so should LJW for continuing to cater to them.

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 3 months ago

The string of the puppet hand is unable to reach into the endowments cookie jar, with limited mobility the hand may only skim the top. Due to beefed up security the past embezzlers made double dipping impossible.

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justme2 5 years, 3 months ago

How interesting that those who know nothing of what is going on at HINU feel free to respond. But what does one expect on the LJW blog?What should be asked instead is why have the 4 tribes of this state asked for the removal of this woman? Yes, all four tribes. She may not have embezzled any funds from Haskell, but she has surrounded herself with people who are not ethical, nor are they working to ensure that the students (not "kids") are successful in their education. Instead, they are focused on their own little, petty agendas. Sad, and definitely not the Native American way.

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beobachter 5 years, 3 months ago

Seems that Warner isn't playing along with a small group and their personal agenda. Maybe she is actually doing what she was hired to do and they don't like it

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Sigmund 5 years, 3 months ago

osagendn20 (Anonymous) says… "Enough already, It's time for Linda Warner to be gone. If it's not one thing it's another. She hasn't been at Haskell even two years and yet she has already caused more controversy in her short tenure than I can ever remember."Well at least she hasn't embezzled Haskell funds, that we know of.

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cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

Can anyone state a concrete issue they have with this lady ? What is the real story ?

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osagendn20 5 years, 3 months ago

Enough already, It's time for Linda Warner to be gone. If it's not one thing it's another. She hasn't been at Haskell even two years and yet she has already caused more controversy in her short tenure than I can ever remember. I attend Haskell and can see subtle changes for the worse under her leadership. Even the cafeteria has gone way down hill. I feel like I"m being punished for having to eat what they serve. I guarantee you Douglass County inmates eat better than what the students at Haskell eat. And yet when I ask, "What's the deal?" The only response I get is, "We're under new management."

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SteelHorseRider 5 years, 3 months ago

Sounds to me like Warner is brushing away flies who have worked to provide $90,000 worth of free dollars for Haskell students' benefit.I wonder how much education $90,000 provides?So lets just say Warner succumbs to the flies' annoying demands and goes to a few meetings and supports the Endowment. Wouldn't her attendance would benefit her professionally and more importantly benefit the students of Haskell? The alumni are the ideal avenue for helping to produce a quality education at Haskell via the Endowment.

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not_so_greek 5 years, 3 months ago

If Judy Wright is saying something and Warner is saying something else, I chose to believe Judy Wright.

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geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

they chose to go to the papers with their objections+++Yes,this seems to be a one sided article.Sounds to me like Warner just simply didn't want to play with the Endowment or the Board because she has bigger fish to fry.That must infuriate them.Providing a quality education while brushing flies has got to be tough.Hats off to Warner.

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logrithmic 5 years, 3 months ago

I've met Warner and think she's great. I can't figure out why this board can't work with her and why they chose to go to the papers with their objections. Seems someone has a political axe to grind and it isn't Warner.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 3 months ago

Dysfunctional culture abounds at Haskell. What a mess, and what a shame, considering their mission.And, as always, the "kids" suffer.

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cowboy 5 years, 3 months ago

Whats going on at Haskell ?

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