Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haskell moves

The formal exit of Haskell’s president may not be a positive move, but at least it clears the way for a permanent appointment to that office.

November 3, 2010


The leadership issue at Haskell Indian Nations University has been clarified but not in a particularly positive way.

In a letter dated Nov. 1, a U.S. Department of the Interior official notified members of the Haskell community that the school’s current president, Linda Sue Warner, had taken another position within the Bureau of Indian Affairs and would not be returning to her job at Haskell. Larry Echo Hawk expressed his appreciation for Warner’s service and indicated that Chris Redman will continue to serve as Haskell’s acting president. In the meantime, the vacant position will be advertised, and the search will begin for a permanent replacement for Warner.

It’s unfortunate that Haskell will lose the able leadership of Warner, but it is positive news, in a way, that federal officials finally have clarified the leadership position at Haskell. Warner had been shipped away from the Lawrence campus for more than a year while filling BIA positions in other states. During that time, Haskell has had three different acting presidents. The lack of stable, capable leadership hampers Haskell’s progress in many ways.

Warner, who came to Haskell in 2007, encountered resistance from some members of the Haskell community, including the Haskell Board of Regents which voted twice to seek her removal as president. It’s hard to know exactly what triggered their disapproval but such a response isn’t unusual when a university leader wants to make significant changes.

After the second “no confidence” vote last May, the president of the Haskell regents said, “It’s time to move on” from Warner’s leadership. It seems the regents now will get their wish.

Recent actions and policies by some at Haskell have placed the university’s continued academic accreditation in jeopardy. Warner tried to improve and broaden the academic offerings of the school but was rebuffed by those who wanted to keep Haskell’s traditional academic environment.

Haskell could be this country’s foremost academic institution for American Indians. However, there will have to be strong, visionary leadership from the president’s office, and the Haskell regents will have to be motivated by what is in the best interests of preparing college-age American Indians for stimulating, productive roles in today’s society. Members of Congress also most provide more than just minimal fiscal support for the school.

It’s regrettable that Warner was removed and that federal officials took so long to clarify Haskell’s leadership situation. Now, however, that has happened, and BIA officials should move as quickly as possible to fill the vacancy at Haskell with a visionary and capable leader who can help move the American Indian school forward.

Education at all levels of this country is facing severe challenges and none is as acute and pressing as the situation at Haskell.


LogicMan 7 years, 7 months ago

This time let's get a Native American with local ties and college administration experience as their permanent leader. I hope the LJW runs more stories, and soon, on Haskell and this position to help find the right person.

Mike Ford 7 years, 7 months ago

this person ran roughshod over people like a Bush appointee, ignored protocol and bullied people. Quit painting this person as nice and qualified. She tried to raise tuition on students and what the non tribal people here don't realize is that this school and it's tuition is part of the treaty trust responsibility of the United States Government and Congress to sort of pay tribes for the lands that you all are living on. This country has figured out many ways especially under Republican leadership to buck it's financial responsibility to pay for the lands this government and it's citizens took. Making federally enrolled tribal students pay more because this country doesn't fund it responsibilities for the theft of lands and trust obligations is not the answer. This is what Warner was trying to push. It's no coincidence she had a McCain sticker on her vehicle.

sbobandme 7 years, 7 months ago

Do you know what century you live in? Tax payers are tired of this story, it's old. A McCain bumper sticker? Who cares? You do live in America, don't you? As I recall McCain has done a lot of good for Native Americans.

NMXeagle 7 years, 7 months ago

"local ties" to what? who?

"college administration experience" or not, anyone who comes in with standards will face the same adversaries and fate as Warner. The BIE and Haskell people in charge want someone just like them or someone they can control.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

"It’s hard to know exactly what triggered their disapproval but such a response isn’t unusual when a university leader wants to make significant changes."

When she "graduated" a student who disagreed with her solely to get her off campus, that was a pretty good indication that she didn't have the skills needed to make the significant changes that I think everybody agrees are needed.

goldpurple6 7 years, 7 months ago

Haskell will always continue to struggle. There is no vision, no planning, no motivation from employees to want to make a difference. It is a government funded agency and cannot function properly like a true postsecondary institution. The board members are not committed, didn't they cancel a board meeting recently due to lack of quorum? If this is true this is a reflection on them as leaders who only lead when it is convenient and beneficial to themselves. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education are at a critical juncture. With one postsecondary school (SiPI, Haskell's sister schoo) who has lost accreditation, how far behind is Haskell? Some major restructuring needs to happen starting at the top. I find it hard to believe Haskell's leadership worries are at the top of Echohawk's agenda. And with the recent elections, aren't Haskell stakeholders a little concerned?

geekin_topekan 7 years, 7 months ago

"She tried to raise tuition on students and what the non tribal people here don't realize is that this school and it's tuition is part of the treaty trust responsibility of the United States Government" ++++ She did not try to raise tuition. The Haskell tuition will always be free to enrolled members. She tried to raise fees from $250/yr to $1000/yr as a way for Haskell to become more self reliant and in control of what monies would be on hand.

The currents continue to hold out there hands to the US gubment and apparently teach the Haskell students, if nothing else through example, that the great white father will always provide for the broken Indian. You would think that four hundred years would have rang a bell by now.

As a university, Haskell has certain responsibilities which include producing qualified graduates and research. I wonder if "listening sessions", flying about the country, qualifies as research?
Dr. Warner's had a vision of Haskell expanding its degree options and perhaps even creating a graduate program from the current four degrees that Haskell offers today. The Haskell actings apparently canceled that accreditation process for no obvious reason, although a few student-apologists offered reasons including metaphors to creative writing. Another apologist offered this little ditty from a 090 Philosophy class "the degree options weren't technically lost because they never existed in the first place" (Profound huh?)

ANyway, I can guess that the actings have not lost a dime from their paychecks (what have the students lost?) and federal employee benefits and that, in my finest opinion, is the basis for resistance to D.r Warner's vision.

The people would have to actually perform. I believe that this would be called bullying by a population who has been conditioned to halftime work for full time pay. The bottom line is that there appears to be a resistance to change and a resistance to work.

This is only my opinion but one based on observation and experience. I am fully aware that I may be wrong and my opinion is not to be mistaken as factual.

sbobandme 7 years, 7 months ago

sbobandme (anonymous) says…

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.

roamingnome 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Dr. Warner may have had her own style of leadership, however she did have a vision of turning Haskell into a premiere university. One of the traits of an outstanding leader is to have a vision. Did she not outline her plan for at least her first year, and make it public? So the Haskell faculty and staff, if they can read and comprehend, should have known her have people become accountable! That is not called bullying. I have been told by several faculty members that she did follow protocol - I was even told that Chenault's son said so. I understand an AIS instructor who impregnated a student often used the words "bullied and not following protocol" in reference to Dr. Warner, I hope tuschkahoma that you are not related nor associated to this instructor.

I only hope that Haskell will find a good leader who has a vision and requires his/her constituents to be accountable.

beeshlii 7 years, 7 months ago

I am in agreement with NMXeagle. But I am lost here. I keep hearing Haskell has a problem. Ok can someone list those problems? What are they? I am a former student and a graduate of 1996 and in those years we really did not have problem with academic, staffs, administrators, teachers, etc. but I can remember there was a big problem with student drinking (alcohol). so maybe that alcohol problem is now affecting the whole school now? on people this is BIA or BIE. this is how they operate. first BIA stood for Bossing Indians Around, now its BIE. what does that stand for? i sure hope someone would list all the problems Haskell is having. thank you. former student from Arizona. PS i love this school and i learn a lot here.

pace 7 years, 7 months ago

Warner was wrong for the position, let's get someone who will serve the needs of the students and faculty. She at least pleased the old white guy who owned the local paper.

katatnite 7 years, 7 months ago

Dr. Warner was not wrong for the position. She served the need of the students, put them first, unlike most of the other Haskell faculty. With a nine percent graduation rate, they just need to close Haskell. I can see where you are coming from though " serve the needs of the faculty"..that's really what it is all about, isn't it? Your comment about Dolph Simons was tacky and uncalled for. Tells us what type of person you are.

beeshlii 7 years, 7 months ago

I think we more active students and staff now days than back when i was here. i still don't know what all the fuss is about. Can someone list all the problems. Maybe it just needs a little tune up. Sometime the bottom line is always about Money or funding problems. maybe this is what it is.

ndnjoe 6 years, 5 months ago

Since I have an investment in Indian Educaion and have ties to Haskell, I have asked around for a opinion from individuals who would give a "honest unbiased" opinion of the situation. To some of you, the answer I got most often was, Warner was on the right track, however, her downfall was more about who she aligned herself with and showed favortism. Also that she was not a very "open" person, as in receptive to opinion outside of her own. I deeply respect these answers from these individuals. Much like when Haskell was "forced" to hire Judy Gipp because the then President, Gerald Gipp, made the supervisor hire her when they didn't want to. Warner did have ties to that family as well? I would n't say it isn't any one family's fault, but much like what goes on at SIPI, there is still a old guard of people who did some illegal things (reorganization) who are still there. That band of brothers/sisters still have control of the school in administrative positions...which were also the top administrators at the time the school lost their accredidation. I hope to see both schools find a way back into becoming educational institutions putting students first. I know it can happen

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