Archive for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Linda Warner out as Haskell president; search to begin for successor

November 2, 2010

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The federal government soon will be looking for a new president to lead Haskell Indian Nations University.

Linda Warner, who started work as Haskell president in April 2007, has accepted another job with the Bureau of Indian Education and, therefore, no longer is the school’s president, said Larry Echo Hawk, U.S. assistant secretary for Indian affairs.

Warner had been Haskell president in name only since September 2009, when she had been detailed off campus to perform accreditation work at another federal school for American Indians: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.

In January, the government sent her to a regional Bureau of Indian Education office in Oklahoma City, and she has not set foot on the Haskell campus since her departure.

“I want to acknowledge and thank Dr. Warner for her contributions to the BIE, and in particular, Haskell Indian Nations University,” Echo Hawk said, in a letter.

Officials never disclosed their reasons for sending Warner off campus, although she had clashed with some faculty and staff on campus over work rules and plans to launch additional programs.

Members of Haskell’s Board of Regents twice cast votes of “no confidence” in Warner — once before her departure from campus, and again in May — in an continued effort to have her removed from campus. Regents said Warner didn’t properly communicate with regents, filed reports “usurping the authority” of regents, and did not follow a previous agreement that outlined responsibilities for the regents.

The divisiveness on the Haskell campus drew criticism and concern from U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and others in the Kansas Congressional delegation, who eight months ago formally urged the Department of Interior to address leadership concerns at Haskell.

Echo Hawk’s letter, posted Monday, included an update regarding his own visit to campus during the spring.

“While my visit was in the midst of challenging circumstances, I was nonetheless encouraged and inspired by the commitment, dedication and perseverance of the students, administration, faculty and staff of the university,” Echo Hawk said. “Haskell has faced many challenges throughout its 126-year history, and it has met those challenges head on, overcoming adversity and strengthening itself in the process. … One thing remains the same — the perseverance of Haskell that will lead to a brighter future.”

Chris Redman, an education specialist from the bureau’s Oklahoma City office, remains Haskell’s interim president. His latest term as interim president was to end this week, but Echo Hawk extended the term while the government prepares to lead a search for Warner’s successor.

Leading the search will be Keith Moore, who started June 1 as director of the Bureau of Indian Education. A committee will conduct a national search for candidates.

Comments

Practicality 4 years, 8 months ago

So, they get rid of Warner because she tried to actually make changes that everyone but the Haskell Board of Regents and the Haskell Faculty can clearly see need to be addressed?Brillant!!!! What a bunch of worthless Bureaucrats.

"While my visit was in the midst of challenging circumstances, I was nonetheless encouraged and inspired by the commitment, dedication and perseverance of the students, administration, faculty and staff of the university,” Echo Hawk said.

Clearly the problem starts with this guy. With a 10% graduation rate this guy is "inspired". Wow! Talk about pathetic standards. Clearly the removal of Mr. Echo Hawk is the first step that needs to be made.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

" What a bunch of worthless Bureaucrats"

Can you point out to us some bureaucrats that you think have some level of worth?

Horace 4 years, 8 months ago

How can they only have a 10% graduation rate? I'm guessing the curriculum is equivalent to that at Central Junior High and the students get their bill paid for by Uncle Sam.

Shut that place down.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Can't do it. My new job as AD at KU would interfere.

sbobandme 4 years, 8 months ago

Excuse us, Dr. Warner is out??? My wife and I will tell you who should be out: Larry Echohawk, Stephanie Birdwell, all of Haskell's current administrators, most of their dorm, food service and teaching staff. Larry Echohawk does not care about Haskell, why do you think Dr.Warner is gone? She came too Haskell and made it a better school and in the process, she made some people unhappy boo-hoo. Problem was the Bureau of Indian Education didn't want to be bothered with all of the boo-hooing, so instead of standing behind Dr.Warner, they let her go. And now what do they have? A nine percent graduation rate, rapes and other crimes on their campus. Why look for a successor???? Haskell is not a school, its a boarding house and employment opportunity for those who could otherwise not find employment......close the place it is a waste of our hard earned tax dollars. Mr. Larry Echohawk you are a liar.

shootitstrait 4 years, 8 months ago

I was suprised to see the comments on LJWorld about Larry Echo Hawk. From what I have read about him, he seems to be a very accomplished leader. Former Attorney General of Idaho, Served in the Idaho State Legislature, a former Idaho Governor canidate who lost a very close race, law professor and now the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs (Confirmed by the US Senate). I dont know very many people in Indian country with that type of proven leadership and it would be interesting for people to comment on that.

I like to be a realist and not someone who just complains (unlike many on here who make unfounded statements). I put my faith in him as the leader Indian Country has, and trust that the decision to remove Dr. Warner was supported by reasons the public may not have the privilage to know. I know for example certian personnel issues are protected by laws. I know its easiest to point the blame to others but in the end Dr. Warner was responsible to lead that university but maybe she was not equipped to successfully lead Haskell. In my opinion no matter how much people want Dr. Warner back, she is gone and the University needs to move forward, which is what I think Mr. Echo Hawk's statements say.

I am sick of seeing reports on the 9% or 10% graduation rate at Haskell. I myself and part of that 91% that started at Haskell and didn't graduate. I started my education at Haskell and transfered to the University of New Mexico after two years where i got my B.S. and M.A. Is my sucess ever captured in these numbers or I am considered to be a drop out?

ssakcaj 4 years, 8 months ago

The graduation rate doesn't report your success, it reports the universities success or lack thereof. Here is an explanation or definition of the IPEDS graduation rate:

"The graduation rate tracks a cohort of students (defined as new-entering, full-time, first-time, degree-seeking) from their time of initial enrollment in a four-year institution until they complete a bachelor's degree or less within 150% of normal time to program completion at the same institution. For a four-year bachelor's degree program this means students who graduate within six years are successful completers and are included in the rate.

Graduation rates are influenced by a variety of factors. Students who transfer in or transfer out of an institution are not included in the graduation rate. Students who start full-time, and are included in the initial tracking cohort, may subsequently enroll part-time; prolonging their time to completion. In general, institutions which are more selective in whom they enroll have higher graduation rates than institutions that are not very selective."

If you entered the school and said you were a bachelor degree seeking student and then left then you are not reflected in the graduation rate. Why? Because you didn't graduate from the institution. The 9% number reflects students who said they were going to the institution to graduate and then did so. That means 91% of their cohort didn't graduate.

It is a brutal number but it is the actual graduation rate.

ssakcaj 4 years, 8 months ago

To your general points I would say this, Echo Hawk's career to me doesn't neccesarily show any "proven leadership." I don't consider his elected positions neccesarily reflecting any notable leadership and as you pointed out, his attempt to win a leadership position, Idaho Governor, was rejected by his fellow citizens.

I fail to see how you can say you are a realist and then say you are putting your "faith" in Echo Hawk. Additionally, you state that Warner was removed where the press release specifically states that Warner accepted another job. Not removed, or reassigned, she accepted another job. Although they would probably not state if an employee was removed, reassigned has no negative stigma and if she was reassigned, they could plainly state so. It seems to me more likely that Warner, realizing the deteriorating conditions at the school and the mass exodus of quality faculty and staff, she decided to cut her losses and leave.

One item that hasn't been brought out to the general public is that the 9% graduation rate was based on the 2002 cohort. Add six years to that and you get 2008 for the numbers to all be in. That means that as of today, there should be numbers for 2003 and 2004 which which should show the improvement or lack thereof in the institution's graduation rate. Or maybe, the BIE has that number already and that was a factor in Warner deciding to leave. One rumor going around is that the BIE is considering closing both SIPI with its loss of accreditation, and Haskell with its 9% graduation rate and after adding money to their previous combined budget totals awarding $20,000 grants to individual Indian students and allowing them to attend the University of their choice. Again, that is just a rumor floating around.

Finally, unless you declared yourself to be at Haskell to obtain a two year degree and did so, the reality is that yes you are a Haskell drop out. You are not however, and my compliments to you, a college dropout.

sbobandme 4 years, 8 months ago

My wife and I agree with you. They could not keep Dr. Warner and now the graduation rate is at nine percent, we are tired of hearing about that too. What a tax payers waste, close the place.

sbobandme 4 years, 8 months ago

The above comment was in reply to "shootitstrait".

sbobandme 4 years, 8 months ago

sbobandme (anonymous) says…

The above comment was in reply to "shootitstrait".

justme2 4 years, 8 months ago

sbobandme says, "My wife and I agree with you. They could not keep Dr. Warner and now the graduation rate is at nine percent, we are tired of hearing about that too. What a tax payers waste, close the place."

Maybe the American Indian academic community didn't want to keep Warner. She is a vindictive woman who didn't know how to run an academic institution. So she's out.

Historically, the academic rate for American Indian students has been low, but as pointed out in above comments, this number does not reflect those students who used Haskell as a place to enroll in foundation course prior to matriculating at larger academic institutions. Haskell is not a waste of taxpayers' money. Why don't you and your wife worry about other issues that concern the community of Lawrence.

ssakcaj 4 years, 8 months ago

So you are saying Haskell isn't good enough to graduate from, just to take basic courses at and then move on. Interesting.

Also I wouldn't consider Haskell to be the spokesperson for the American Indian academic community. Haskell is only a very tiny and very insignificant part of the American Indian academic community.

You may claim that historically the "academic rate," whatever that means, has been low. The problem with that claim is that at the same time Haskell was graduating 9%, the Univeristy of Kansas was graduating ~60%.

You can't argue on one hand the uniqueness and "specialness" of Haskell and on the other claim that its value is primarily as an oversized, expensive Junior College. Paying $14,000 a year for people to go to a JuCo makes no sense.

I will throw out the same offer I have made before. If Haskell is so great, offer every student the option of either attending Haskell for "free" or they can take their $14,000 and attend anywhere they want. You do that and Haskell would be a ghost town...

justme2 4 years, 8 months ago

Where did I write that HINU is not good enough to graduate from? Reread what I wrote slowly so you can understand it.

But maybe what I should have written was that many student who matriculate at HINU often transfer to other colleges because those colleges may have more programs available due to bigger funding budgets.

You're right. HINU is not the spokesperson for the Native American academic community, but when the board of regents, the four tribes of Kansas (who have never banded together to ask for any other HINU president to be removed) and other various Native American agencies ask/demand for a certain person to be removed it is pretty telling. Rarely does the Native American community come together in agreement of anything.

ssakcaj 4 years, 8 months ago

And you demonstrate your lack of understanding of what the graduation rate indicates. Here is how IPEDS tracks graduation rates:

"The graduation rate tracks a cohort of students (defined as new-entering, full-time, first-time, degree-seeking) from their time of initial enrollment in a four-year institution until they complete a bachelor's degree or less within 150% of normal time to program completion at the same institution. For a four-year bachelor's degree program this means students who graduate within six years are successful completers and are included in the rate.Graduation rates are influenced by a variety of factors. Students who transfer in or transfer out of an institution are not included in the graduation rate.

You and any other students transferring out are not counted. It is just that simple. You can look at the two year degree graduation rate and get another idea of how bad Haskell does even as a transfer institution. Another couple of data items that refute your argument are the Unduplicated 12-Month Head Count, and the Retention Rate. Both of which are abysmal, and both numbers refute your argument that Haskell is preparing students for other institutions. It simply isn't happening.

You are what I now hear people being referred to as Haskellholics. People who can't believe that Haskell as it currently exists is a failure and refuse to acknowledge that fact. The first step to fixing the problem is to admit there is a problem. Even the current ineffective Haskell administration has begun down the road to recovery by admitting that they aren't doing a good job of retaining or graduating students and are going to be using the just received grant to begin implementing the programs initiated by Warner to address those issues.

Finally, what other various Native American agencies asked or demanded that a person be removed? I believed that AIHEC and NCAI weighed in with their opinions. However, they weren't requesting a person be removed, rather that Haskell and SIPI be removed from the BIA because of the horrible job that was being done at the two schools as evidenced by the numbers. This move was precipitated by the removal of Warner, not because of Warner's actions or activities.

The fact that the Board of Regents who have presided over the current mess at Haskell and done nothing, or the four tribes of Kansas who drank the Kool-aid from the current academic administration who were responsible for the horrible retention and graduation rates, agreed to get rid of the person who was telling them that the emperor had no clothes doesn't hold a lot of weight. Five idiots agreeing that the sky is yellow doesn't make the sky yellow. It's still five idiots who doen't know what they are talking about.

Irenaku 4 years, 6 months ago

I remember when Warner proposed adding graduate/PhD programs to Haskell as (gasp!) the cost of the students by paying regular tution like other colleges. She was gone the next day. If they want to keep at a 10% graduation rate, just stay the route they are going. Ridiculous.

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