Haskell Board of Regents resolutions ( .PDF )
The Board of Regents at Haskell Indian Nations University once again is pushing for the ouster of the school’s president, this time as federal officials prepare to hire a new administrator who will be determining who ends up leading the four-year college for American Indians.
Regents voted unanimously Thursday to approve a resolution declaring “a vote of no confidence” in Haskell President Linda Warner, who has retained her title but held none of the job’s responsibilities since September, when she was detailed by the Bureau of Indian Education to work at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.
In January the bureau transferred Warner to a regional bureau office in Oklahoma City, where she remains as the bureau awaits the hiring of a new bureau director.
Whoever is hired as the new BIE director will determine who ends up as Haskell’s president, said Stephanie Birdwell, the bureau’s deputy director for policy evaluation and postsecondary education. Earlier this year, Warner was identified as being one of seven finalists for the director’s job in Washington.
George Tiger, president of Haskell’s regents, said Thursday that the latest vote of no confidence in Warner wasn’t much different from the last one, in 2008.
The complaints are the same, Tiger said: Warner didn’t properly communicate with regents, filed reports “usurping the authority” of regents, and did not follow a previous agreement that outlines responsibilities of the regents.
“It’s time to move on,” Tiger said, after Thursday’s vote.
Contacted after the vote, Warner declined to comment, citing a directive from Birdwell to not speak to the media.
In their resolution, regents also outlined their desire to work together with the Bureau of Indian Affairs — which oversees the Bureau of Indian Education — in selecting a new BIE director, and to serve as the formal search committee for a new president.
“The board should be in the loop,” said Tiger, who graduated from Haskell in 1971 and is a council member for the Creek Nation of Oklahoma.
The regents’ resolution comes as U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other members of the state’s congressional delegation have raised concerns in recent months about leadership at Haskell since Warner’s departure from campus.
Also Thursday, regents learned about a new public-relations initiative to be launched by the BIE and known as “Haskell Gives Back,” highlighting connections in the community.