The president of Haskell Indian Nations University won’t be going to Washington to serve as director of the Bureau of Indian Education.
Linda Warner, one of several finalists for the job that oversees Haskell, learned Friday that the director’s job would go to Keith Moore, chief diversity officer for the University of South Dakota.
Moore starts his new job June 1.
“Keith Moore has served Indian country as a dedicated educational administrator for many years,” said Larry Echo Hawk, the U.S. assistant secretary for Indian affairs, in a statement announcing the hiring. “I will rely on him as part of my senior management team as we move forward to improve the quality of education in Indian country.”
While Warner retains the title of president at Haskell, she has been working off campus since September. The bureau detailed her to a temporary assignment at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., before being sent in January to a regional bureau office in Oklahoma City.
Contacted at the office Friday, Warner said she could not comment on Moore’s hiring, citing instructions from her boss to not speak to the media. Warner’s boss, Stephanie Birdwell, the bureau’s deputy director for policy evaluation and postsecondary education, said this week that the new bureau director would determine whether Warner would remain as Haskell president, or whether someone else would take over.
Thursday, members of Haskell’s Board of Regents approved a resolution declaring a vote of “no confidence” in Warner. The regents threw support behind Haskell’s acting president, Venida Chenault, to continue serving as president until a permanent president could be chosen.
Haskell’s leadership situation has been a point of concern for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other members of the state’s congressional delegation, who have met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to push for answers regarding finances, personnel issues and other matters at the Lawrence campus.
In a statement, Salazar said he was “pleased” with Echo Hawk’s “efforts to strengthen his management team” by hiring Moore. Moore has been chief diversity officer at South Dakota since August of last year. During the previous four years, he worked as Indian education director for the South Dakota State Department of Education.
The Bureau of Indian Education oversees Haskell and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, and administers financing for 183 elementary and other American Indian schools that provide education for 42,000 students.