Posts tagged with Senator Sam Brownback
Dr. Linda Sue Warner has accepted a new post within the Bureau of Indian Education and resigned as President of Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas. The announcement was made earlier today by Mr. Larry Echohawk, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and months ago by George Tiger.
In the time that she was on campus, Dr. Warner tried to make vast improvements at Haskell, which were often met with criticism from The Haskell Board of Regents, who twice took a vote of no confidence against her. (We wonder how many times Dr. Warner took a vote of no confidence on them). However, this is a Board of Regents (many of whom themselves hold less then a bachelor’s degree and have been on Haskell’s board for way too many years), who since Dr.Warner’s departure from campus over a year ago, have stood by and let graduation rates drop to less than any other post-secondary institution we can find, the same Board of Regents that expected to get paid the minute they set foot on campus and the same Board that let the crime on Haskell’s campus get out of hand. You can thank Stephanie Birdwell and Larry Echohawk for supporting the Regents.
Improvements at Haskell somehow threatened them, and other members of the Haskell faculty (especially the ones who were called on the carpet for not doing their jobs).
Dr. Warner was way ahead of her time for the Haskell bureaucracy, at least she tried. Today the country will try to right itself as it elects new leaders; it is too late for Haskell and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.
We tip our hats to Dr. Linda Sue Warner and wish her the best in her new endeavors.
haskellnews commentary Nov 02, 2010
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute a two college for American Indians in Albuquerque, New Mexico lost its accreditation. Under the watchful eye of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echohawk.
New Mexico, Senator Tom Udall, after visiting a majority of The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools in New Mexico, called for an indictment of all federal officials who let BIE schools get into such a tragic mess. Saying that most, if not all are unsafe for their American Indian students, he called the situation a NATIONAL EMERGENCY and NATIONAL DISGRACE from the United States President on down. All, under the watchful eye of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echohawk.
Haskell Indian Nations University, the only four year college for American Indians run by The United States government, lost its well-heeded, University President and begun a one year plus, revolving door of acting administers on an almost weekly basis. The leadership became such a mess that Senator Pat Roberts, had to step in and he is still trying to clean up the mess. Haskell lost some of its best people in the chaos that followed including Safety Officer, Debra Thompson and The Education Department Chair, Russell Blackbird. Crime went up, graduation rates dropped to less then ten percent. Again, under the watchful eye of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echohawk.
Has Larry Echohawk let down American Indian Students down? Ask President Barack Obama, he appointed him.
haskellnews commentary 11/01/2010
* Federal law takes on crimes against Indian women (sfgate.com)
Quote from Larry Echohawk:“We have also made strides in improving the delivery of education to Indian country, both within the BIE’s 183 schools and two universities that serve more than 42,000 Indian students, and within the traditional public school system that serves 95 percent of Indian students”.
Really, Mr.Echohawk ? Ninety one percent of Haskell Indian Nations University students in Lawrence, Kansas are not graduating, crimes are high for such a small campus, and when Dr. Linda Sue Warner was detailed off of The Haskell campus, leadership at Haskell went with her. Since, then, on almost a week by week, basis, Haskell has had new “Acting administers” and we are using that term loosely.
Quote from Larry Echohawk:“Improved public safety in Indian country is important to establish a climate where students can focus on their education and economic growth can take root. That is why we launched the most aggressive recruiting and hiring effort for BIA officers in history, to bridge the serious gap in officer staffing in Indian country”.
Improved public safety in Indian Country, should that not include Haskell Indian Nations University? The very university that Mr. Echohawk is in charge of ? Or do American Indian students not count? Haskell’s safety officer, Debra Thompson is now gone from Haskell, her talents and skills lost to Haskell, forever. Is there now yet another acting???
Mr. Echohawk’s big tears and promises of help for Haskell apparently had no true meaning. What has he done for Haskell and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI)? Detailed of one the best President’s Haskell Indian Nations University ever had, along with one of it’s best safety officers’ and teachers like Dr. Russell Blackbird, let graduation rates plumb it to almost zero, students are being raped and one even put into a coma, put Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn in charge of The Bureau of Indian schools.
Let Southwestern Indian Polytechnic lose their accreditation!
Mr. Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn cut loose a lot of Haskell’s best employees and held on to a lot of the not so good ones, including it’s Board of Regents speared headed by George Tiger (for more information on Mr.Tiger go to: The voices of Courage .com) a lot of the board members (not all) only hold two years degrees, if that, and have been sitting this board for many years.
What do they do? Their traveling expenses to come to Haskell are paid for by Haskell, along with lodging and board (can some empty dorm rooms not to found for them? Can they not eat at Cutis)? They are paid for their time there and ran to Wal-Mart by Haskell employees. All the while crying to The Haskell students, Haskell has no money!
What does Haskell’s Board of Regents do for the Haskell students? Take away four year degree programs and sometimes ride on a float….too bad they don’t just float off of the Haskell campus.
Who put Larry Echohawk in charge? Oh, yes, President Barack Obama, we would like to thank him too.
How big is a mess, when U.S. Senators have to become involved and try to clean it up?
By the way we sincerely want to thank Senator Pat Roberts who continues trying to clean up Larry Echohawk’s and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn’s mess.
Keep crying Mr. Echohawk…your tears mean nothing anymore.
Larry Echohawk’s quotes and full article can be found at: www.indiancountrytoday.com/opinion/Restoring-the-trust-
October 30, 2010.
George Tiger and Haskell Indian Nations University President’s Office cancels Board of Regents meeting.
George Tiger and The Haskell’s President’s Office ( the acting this week is Clyde Peacock) has canceled the November 2010 Board of Regents meeting due to a lack of quorum.
Funny, we thought you had to actually be at the meeting to see if a quorum exists or not. Besides if George Tiger is going to be there, he thinks highly enough of himself to be the quorum. Just ask his own tribal members at The Creek Nation. Link: www.thevoicesofcourage.com
Not that the Haskell Board of Regents needs to meet. All they seem to accomplish is spending the schools money and canceling four year programs.
Never mind all of the current problems Haskell is now facing, the crime on campus, the lack of graduates, and no leadership whatsoever at the school.
George Tiger is right, this particular board of regents needs too stay where they are at.... at home.
haskellnews commentary October 28, 2010.
While Haskell Indian Nations University’s President, Dr. Linda Sue Warner remains on a detail, 91% of Haskell students aren’t graduating.
Last week, Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, announced yet another acting president, Clyde Peacock, who will serve until October 18, 2010. Who will be next is anyone’s guess. Lack of leadership is one reason The Higher Learning Commission sited in its findings against Haskell sister’s college Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, when it lost its accreditation. Senators Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback and Congressman Dennis Moore and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, also sited it as a problem.
For the American Indian students who come to Haskell seeking a degree, it’s a tragedy.
One can only assume that while Haskell’s President, Dr. Linda Sue Warner ( who has spent her life‘s career seeking to make education obtainable for American Indians and who tried to make Haskell an actual university ), who has all but, been, tossed aside to make room for people far less qualified than she ( A women who was accepted into Harvard and Penn State, holds a Ph.D., served as Penn State’s American Indian Leadership Program (AILP) director for several years. She also served as a program director at the National Science Foundation and appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education. She was named winner of the 2001 Indian Educator of the year Award by the National Indian Education Association for her lifelong dedication to Indian Education) to temporary run Haskell is appalling at best. With all the problems Haskell is having right now, Dr. Warner’s detail needs to end, she needs to be brought back, then supported in whatever, she needs to do to get Haskell running as a real university.
At some point it will be too late and Haskell will be no longer, when it cannot graduate 91 percent of its student body ( For every 10 freshmen who enroll at Haskell Indian Nations University seeking a bachelor’s degree, fewer than one ends up leaving campus with a diploma) the Bureau of Indian Education has a lot to answer for and the bottom line has become, can keeping Haskell open be justified any longer? Or should Haskell close and the students be sent elsewhere ?
In the meantime Haskell is waiting for its superman and that superman / superwoman is someone it already has: Dr. Linda Sue Warner.
October 4, 2010
We thought this was such a great article that we posted it to our site. We at haskellnews commentary agree with it 100%. This was written by : J-W editorials, September 30, 2010
The best thing federal officials can do for Haskell Indian Nations University is resolve the school’s lingering leadership question.
Additional federal funds are one way to improve programs at Haskell Indian Nations University, but they don’t address the school’s No. 1 need: a permanent president who can set a strong course for Haskell’s future.
This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced a $1.6 million federal grant to improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability at Haskell. It’s a significant amount of money for the school, whose annual allocation from the federal government is only $14.2 million. According to a representative of the Haskell president’s office, the money will be used to improve advising and student retention services, which is a good goal.
However, despite repeated assurances from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that a decision on the Haskell presidency is forthcoming, the school’s leadership remains in limbo. Linda Warner, who still is the school’s official president, has been fulfilling BIA assignments in other states for more than a year. In the meantime, Haskell has had three acting presidents, but no decision about a permanent president.
The $1.4 million grant is nice, but if federal officials really want to help Haskell, they should quit delaying and return Warner to Lawrence and allow her to oversee and initiate new policies and academic opportunities — or bring in another experienced, courageous, visionary academic leader.
A comment started us thinking: Is Haskell Indian Nations University’s new windfall, just the old TRIO grant? The same one it has received for many years?
We looked around to see if an announcement had been put out by President Obama’s Team, about Indian schools receiving new monies and found...well …..nothing…..
The TRIO grant is given to schools by the Federal Department of Education , Haskell has received it for the past several years.
If this is what Haskell has just received, then it adds nothing new to their budget and would be an awful way to deceive The Haskell Student Body, The Indian Communities that Haskell Students represent, it’s employees and the public as a whole ( including The Lawrence Journal World ).
The TRIO Grant could be used for The “new” Haskell Success Center….but ,isn’t that just the old TRIO program with a new name?
Is it the TRIO Grant or isn’t it the TRIO Grant?
The question remains, have the current “leaders” at Haskell Indian Nations University tried to pull one over on all concerned?
We have to add an addendum to this blog, we have found the answer to our question.
This just out from The U.S. Dept of Education: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that 63 grant awards, totaling nearly $53 million, from the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCU) Program will go to colleges and universities that serve American Indian students. The grant awards will provide funding to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.
“Reforming Native education has never been more important,” Secretary Duncan said. “To do what is best for Native students, we must collaborate with people who know the students and communities. These grants will provide funding to help tribal colleges and universities offer high quality educational opportunities for American Indian students.”
And this from The Kansas City Star “We did not apply for this and we didn’t know we were getting it,” said Stephen Prue, university spokesman. “This was awarded to us based on our track record, on how we have spent other grant money in the past.”
Venida Chenault, a university vice president, said on Wednesday that Haskell has a long list of needs and the grant will go a long way to help “enhance the educational experience for our students.”
Haskell administrators have until the end of October to develop a plan for spending the money. That plan then has to be approved by the federal education department. Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/30/2264499/surprise-grant-gives-haskell-a.html#ixzz119noqoCn
Is Haskell Indian Nations University Breaking The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution?
With all of the talk from Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn about making Haskell Indian Nations University a "premier university", we can’t help but wonder why the school would possibly be stuck in the days of when it was a boarding school and continue with room checks?
Rooms checks at Haskell are done by housing personnel to see if students are keeping their rooms clean, if not the chance exist that they can lose housing and in the case of many Haskell students that would mean going home and not finishing school. With a nine percent graduation rate can Haskell really afford this?
Student rooms are checked for cleanliness and to see if the bed is made. These checks are done when most students are in classes. If a student is running late that day should they worry about making their bed or getting to class? Who wants someone in their living quarters when they are not there?
Is it really legal for dorm staff to be entering these rooms to see if a room is clean? These are not safety checks done by the safety officer and her staff, these are cleanliness checks. They are done once a week every week that school is in session.
They better be looking into this before some Haskell student wises up and sues the school over it.
Here is what the United States Constitution and FEDERAL LAWS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT:
“Virtually all room searches at public institutions are governed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and provides that no search warrants shall issue “but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” To be “reasonable” and thus lawful under the Fourth Amendment, a search must normally be conducted pursuant to a search warrant supported by probable cause. Conducting a search in violation of a student’s Fourth Amendment rights can render public university employees, and potentially the university itself, liable for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, any evidence of criminal activity obtained in the search likely will be suppressed in ensuing criminal proceedings, and any subsequent investigation of criminal activity may be tainted as “fruit of the poisonous tree. Public institutions also may be subject to a state constitution’s analogous “search and seizure” provisions. These state constitutional provisions sometimes provide even greater protections against warrantless searches and seizures than does the Fourth Amendment. Courts will not uphold provisions in housing agreements that require a student to broadly waive all of his or her Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of campus housing”.
You would expect a Mormon man (Larry Echohawk) to keep his word, so far no changes, only tears. The same people who lost Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute by The North Central Higher Learning Commission are still in charge of Haskell.
Mr. Echohawk is an attorney having come from The “Y” BYU to The BIA.
Maybe ….he can at least get what appears to be, illegal room checks at Haskell stopped?
haskellnews commentary September 29, 2010
Since Haskell Indian Nations University is a federal school ran by The Bureau of Indian Education, we wonder, are they following federal policy ?
Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn and her posse ( the usual suspects, Dan Wildcat, Venida Chenault, Stan Holder, Chris Redman and assorted minions ( all of whom can travel on Haskell’s program dime) were at Haskell this past week trying to figure out how Haskell could “Give Back” the “Great Outdoors”. Say, shouldn’t that be “take back?” Maybe the activist VCEM and her think tank group in American Indians Studies should read Cobell v. Salazar ( www.CobellSettlement.com ).
If they want to work on something they should meet and to figure out how to keep Haskell’s accreditation since Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute just lost theirs with these folks at the helm. Or maybe figure out what those graduation rates, or lack of, are telling them. Maybe they could figure out that the more unqualified folks you hire? without advertising? the worse that place will get…We know, let’s work on a code of ethics for the Board of Regents, who wouldn’t meet and vote on it anyway.
Or maybe they should be figuring out what to do about the fact that someone in personnel might be recommending George Tiger’s ( for more on George Tiger google: thevoicesofcourage/georgetiger) unqualified friends for jobs?…..or maybe they should figure out how many people are going to get really hurt in those cells they call dorm rooms before the Bureau of Indian Education / Bureau of Indian Affairs gets sued out of existence? Actually, now that we think of it, the faction running Haskell right now has been unable to figure out anything productive to help the school.
What about housing? whoever, is currently in charge of Haskell ( if such a person exists)? needs to check and see if their federal employees ( specifically supervisors) are following federal guidelines? Which state: Federal employees may not solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to either his own or the other employee's official superior. (b) Or solicit Gifts ( maybe borrowing money or asking for rides )? from employees receiving less pay. ( Link: ecfr.gpoaccess.gov). This could not be happening on the Haskell campus...could it???
With a nine percent graduation rate one might be inclined to think the employees at Haskell should in every way be towing the line right now, which should include following federal policy for their own school.
Thanks Keith Moore and Larry Echohawk for “looking into the situation” at Haskell Indian Nations University.
haskellnews commentary Sept 27, 2010.
It started with the detailing out of Haskell’s School President, Dr. Linda Sue Warner, almost a year ago and has continued on a slow, but, steady downcline every since.
We are speaking of leadership at the school.
First, one of the best, brightest and most distinguished presidents that Haskell has ever had, Dr.Linda Sue Warner, a women who holds a Ph.D from Penn State, was accepted in Harvard and has spent her entire life helping to educate Native Americans, was detailed out of the school, by Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.
Birdwell-Bighorn, a much lesser educated Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) (holds only a master’s in social work) employee, with no experience in the field of education, oversees all of the BIE schools (recent articles are proving that the BIE runs one of the most distressed school systems in the United States). Apparently experience in education is not needed, if one is only going to educate Native Americans. Can you name another United States school system that would tolerate this?
We are slowly watching Haskell lose its leadership. The latest casualty in the Haskell leadership fiasco is Deborah Thompson. Ms. Thompson is Haskell’s Safety Officer and one of the heads of its Facilities Department, she is also one of Haskell’s crème de la crème employees. Often working early mornings into late nights. Any threat of bad weather or danger at the school brings her running. Not to mention the millions of dollars that she has bought into the school through all of the grants, she has written. Her departure in October will be irrecoverable for Haskell.
As has been the lose of the following Haskell employees: Dr. Ted Wright (who admits that employees bullied him right off of the Haskell campus), Dr. Russell Blackbird (who also admits being bullied off of the school’s campus), Coach Ted Juneau (a wonderful man ,who is as much loved and admired by the Lawrence community ,as he was at Haskell), again, you have Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn who oversaw Coach Juneau’s demise as well as the others.
One of the issues that the Higher Learning Commission quoted on Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute lost of accreditation, was, the turn over and lack of leadership at the school.
Apparently, it is not looking too good for Haskell either, with the lose of at least five of its key leaders in less then a year.
haskellnews commentary, Sept 14,2010.