Chris Redman is back for a second term leading Haskell Indian Nations University.
Redman returned last week as acting president for the four-year school for American Indians in Lawrence. His appointment is expected to run through summer school, for which the university has a record enrollment of about 300 students.
Redman splits his time between the Haskell campus and a regional Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Oklahoma City, where his duties as an education specialist include working with 37 tribal colleges supported by the bureau.
Linda Warner retains the title of Haskell president, although she has not worked on campus since September. She remains detailed to a temporary posting at the bureau’s office in Oklahoma City.
Redman first served as Haskell’s acting president after Warner was sent to handle accrediting work at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.; that duty ended in December, just before Warner was sent to Oklahoma City.
Late last year, the acting president’s role at Haskell had gone temporarily to Dan Wildcat, the school’s vice president for academic affairs. Venida Chenault, vice president for university services, served as acting president from January until last week.
Haskell’s Board of Regents voted May 6 to express “no confidence” in Warner, and to instead support Chenault as acting president until a new president could be appointed. The Bureau of Indian Education isn’t expected to decide on who should be Haskell president until after Keith Moore starts work as bureau director, effective June 1.
Redman attended this month’s meeting of Haskell’s regents in Lawrence, but deferred questions to Stephanie Birdwell, the bureau official who oversees Haskell and approved Redman’s latest posting as acting president.
Haskell’s leadership situation has been among several issues that have drawn the concern of U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and Dennis Moore, D-Kan.
Earlier this year the lawmakers sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, decrying what appeared to be “no clear line of authority” at either Haskell or the bureau, a situation that had led to “chaos and confusion to the detriment of HINU employees and the students, who are our primary concern.”