U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts isn’t the only federal lawmaker concerned about leadership issues — both in Lawrence and in Washington — regarding Haskell Indian Nations University.
Earlier this week, staffers from the offices of three Kansas Republicans — Roberts, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback and U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins — met in Washington with employees from the Bureau of Indian Education, which oversees Haskell.
Roberts has expressed concerns about leadership at the four-year school for American Indians since the bureau temporarily reassigned Haskell President Linda Warner to out-of-town posts: first to a school in New Mexico, then — as of this month — to a regional bureau office in Oklahoma City.
All three top administrators now working at the Lawrence campus are handling their roles on an “acting” basis. In Warner’s absence, scheduled visits by accreditation teams to review progress on establishing two new four-year degree programs were canceled.
Roberts’ representatives expect this week’s meeting to lead to some of their questions being answered, although no timetable has been set.
“They were personally made aware of all the concerns we have,” said Molly Haase, a spokeswoman for Roberts. “We’re just waiting on an official response.”