Linda Sue Warner, president of Haskell Indian Nations University, confirmed Friday she will attend a meeting next week in Washington, D.C., that includes federal officials and the Haskell Board of Regents.
Regents have voiced concerns publicly since Warner took over the university in 2007. This week George Tiger, a regents vice chairman, said regents wanted to discuss their role with the university because some members believed it had changed.
Warner, who was on business in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday, said federal agencies — like the Bureau of Indian Affairs that oversees Haskell — rely on several advisory boards to provide input on decisions.
Warner answers to BIA officials, and the regents provide an advisory role. “I think the discussion of how the Haskell Board of Regents fits into the federal advisory role will be a topic,” she said of the Washington meeting. The regents and Warner will be in Washington for a reception to honor 125 years of Haskell on Wednesday at the National Museum of the American Indian.
Regents in August asked the BIA to remove Warner as president. They expressed concerns about possible irregularities in accounting, procurement and hiring practices. Warner has denied the allegations, and BIA officials have supported her.
Tiger also said last week that regents were concerned that Haskell administrators waived the final semester and graduated a student, Brenda Councillor, once a critic of Warner.
In an interview Friday, Warner said Councillor’s opinions had nothing to do with the administrative decision to give her a diploma. Warner said Haskell’s registrar and vice president for academic affairs informed her that Councillor already had more than enough credits to graduate.