Posts tagged with Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn

Senator Rand Paul rallies to shut down The Bureau of Indian Education and The Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The new kid on the block, Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, The toast of the Tea Party, has decided the United States government would be better off not supporting The Bureau of Indian Education,The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services.

Quite frankly we wish we could oppose him, but seeing the mess that Haskell Indian Nations University is in with it almost non-existence graduation rates and crimes on campus gives us a moment to pause.

"Self-determination and self-governance" does not mean letting the United States Government run your life for you. What has The Buerau of Indian Education done for you at Haskell? Gave you people such as Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn, Larry Echohawk, Venida Chenault to name a few, who have been no help to you at all while letting others who could have really helped you leave like Dr. Warner, Deb Thompson, Sharon Hallum, Dr. Blackbird, Ted Wright and Ted Junea, just to name a few. They let some of your programs go and even with his shaddy back ground they have continued to let George Tiger head up the board of regents and be around the students.

And poor Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, they just flat out let them lose their accreditation.

The tribes have clearly shown they do a much better job without the governments interference.

The problem goes far beyond just Haskell though. The BIA/BIE and IHS have been run poorly for decades. American Indians are entitled to cut rate care at any IHS facility, just like the cut rate education they are currently receiving at Haskell.

And what The Cobell settlement? American Indians will receive ( if they ever receive it at all ) pennies on the dollars that the government stole from them.

American Indians ( those of you who are not among the elitist few receiving the big bucks from Uncle Sam, like Larry Echohawk) need to raise up join Rand Paul, demand your money, and demand that your tribes take over, everything from Haskell, to IHS. Get rid of The Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Bureau of Indian Education. That would be true "Self-determination and self-governance" Obama failed you.

haskellnews commentary 02/10/2011


The other good news today is did our social worker (Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn) finally found a hole to crawl into?

Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas, prepares for convocation next week and welcomes internationally and nationally recognized Lakota elder Lionnel Bordeaux as the keynote speaker. Dr. Bordeaux’s vision for tribal higher education is one of a premier national university.

It will be interesting to watch the faces of the current administration/union/regent posse determined to live in the 1950s? Like his stage mate, George Tiger? Locally and regionally recognized George Tiger, known for his many questionable enterprises through the Creek Nation, including one tribal indictment for criminal charges( ( won’t understand anything Dr. Bordeaux says, will he? Will union representatives dismiss it outright? Will current administrators, Venida Chenault (VCEM in particular) hug George Tiger and subsequently misrepresent anything Dr. Bordeaux says?

Dr. Bordeaux is an active member of American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), The National Indian Education Association (NIEA), and National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)—all of which have resolutions to remove Haskell Indian Nations University, from The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and turn it over to tribes (which is likely the only way it could resurrect itself from the Echohawk-Skenandore-Moore-Birdwell fiasco these past months).

Hopefully American Indian studies ( A.I.S) will require their students to attend because Dr. Bordeaux actually knows what self-determination means having lived it instead of waiting until he was an adult to decide he was Indian (pretty much the common dominator for Haskell’s Indian studies PROFESSORS)? At least if US Senators would ever listen to tribes, there would be the chance to create the premier Indian University by removing all of the current mistakes and turning the control of Haskell and all of its affairs to a group who actually knows about higher education and cares about students.

The other good news today is did our social worker (Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn) finally found a hole to crawl into?

Maybe, Keith Moore has figured out Skenandore left him a mess? We’re pretty sure he figured out that it takes more than promises or good intentions to get BIE to move? We are actually hopeful that this negotiated move means Moore doesn’t want Haskell to lose its accreditation? The real higher education legacy of Echohawk-Skenandore-Birdwell-Bighorn.

For our regular readers, any time we make a mistake we will apologize and provide the correct information. So far, as LJW knows full well, we can provide backup for all our facts. Our opinions are our own.

haskellnews commentary 1/21/2011


Is enrollment down at Haskell Indian Nations University?

Is enrollment down this semester at Haskell Indian Nations University?

Instead of its normal 900 student enrollment, could it be hovering around 590 students this semester? Maybe, some of the tribes, students and parents heard that they were only graduating nine percent of their students and sent them elsewhere?

Maybe they heard about the guess who is president at Haskell this week? So the students went elsewhere?

Maybe they heard about George Tiger and all of the problems he is having with his own tribe (www.thevoicesofcourage) and decided he should definitely not be President of The Haskell Board of Regents? So, the students went elsewhere?

Maybe they heard about Princess Crazyhair (A.K.A Julia Goodfox) helping to organize and encourage Haskell students to take trips Palestine? So, the students went elsewhere?

Maybe, they heard about the kid being put into a coma, and the recent rapes, and arrests on campus? (Has Haskell ever passed the National Incident Management System ( NIMS) requirements)? So, the students went elsewhere?

Maybe, the good students are tired of the bad students always being readmitted, by JA? So, the students went elsewhere?

Maybe, the students are afraid the some powers to be will make Venita Chenault the next president of Haskell? So, the students went elsewhere?

Maybe, they are just good and tired of everything that is going on at Haskell, including no leadership. So, the students just went elsewhere?

haskellnews commentary Jan 18 ,2011


How do you hire a college president?

How do you hire a college president?

Normally you would put someone in charge (a chancellor or a president of a system) who has years and years of experience and who actually has been a college faculty member and administrator herself. How does the BIE hire a college president?

You put a group of federal bureaucrats together because they represent the President's party and tell them to be sure to hire someone who contributed to the last election (and who won't cause trouble with FISE--federally ignoramuses & softheaded employees).

How long does a college Presidential search last? Normally college search teams begin in early fall for a hire the following June or August. It takes that long to screen the QUALIFIED applicants and the interview search team will select the few who get initial interviews and then those who will come to campus.

How long does a BIE college Presidential search last? 30 days; advertised nationally but not widely read venues by qualified applicants so they can control the applicant pool.

Normally do colleges hire their own graduates?

Occasionally colleges will hire individuals who have been on the faculty before if they are qualified, but rarely do they hire their own graduates (for The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) types this is called academic incest in higher education). Sorry we had to explain that to most people who actually know how higher education works, but most people aren't social workers or lawyers with no experience (called the Peter Principle by business majors).

Do the faculty, staff, and students have any input into who is the new president? Everywhere except Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

What was the one thing the students were worried about when they did have input into the last hiring? The students were concerned that the President wouldn't stay; I bet that's a joke on Dr. Warner who no matter what VCEM's son keeps asserting actually did make decisions for students. We could list them but we will wait for a more appropriate time.

Last question, Will Venida Chenault be the next President of Haskell?

We're guessing even Keith Moore is too smart to let that happen? Maybe next time?

haskellnews commentary Dec 12, 2010


Does Anyone Care about Haskell Indian Nations University’s Leadership Problems?

A video came out in The Lawrence Journal World on Sept 29, 2010 (Link: on it two Haskell students said Haskell needs more staff and one of them states that Haskell “staff are hard to find”. Of course they are, without, any true leadership in place, they are like little kids in a candy store.

Haskell doesn’t need more staff, they need staff that can actually find their way to work, correct ? And once they do stay there, work and not hide behind closed office doors, or bring their adult or minor children to work with them, correct ? Or, not put curtains up in their office windows, so the students can’t tell if they are in or not, correct ?

Here’s a policy suggestion no Haskell employee shall date the students? Nor come to work drunk or high? Why can’t those policies be put into place and if they already ? Why are Haskell employees not fired for disobeying them? Or are they ? Or are they caught and still employed by Haskell ? If Haskell has that type of leadership who can the students look up to ?

What about this for a policy ? If an employee leaves their office they will put a note on the door stating where they are at and what time they will return and then actually come back at that time? And if they aren’t then the student is to contact Michael S. Black Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C. and let him know about it. Since there is currently no leadership at Haskell, then the students need to go straight to the top.

One more policy: The Haskell instructor does not show up to teach the class? So a substitute is found? Instead of Haskell students being sent out of the classroom without the one thing they came to Haskell Indian Nations University for... an education, so many Haskell students are leaving without one.

With Dr. Linda Sue Warner, Haskell’s President still on detail ( which has now lasted a year ), Haskell has no real leadership and it's showing.... the students aren’t graduating, at least 91-93% of them are NOT graduating.

When will Haskell’s leadership problems be resolved? For now The American Indians students who attend Haskell are suffering because it, the numbers don’t lie.

Does anyone care? Larry Echohawk where are your tears and promises of change for Haskell at now ? Maybe it’s time to be moving some of your top people around. You could start with putting Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn back in the social work department, from which she hails, restructure your Haskell Board of Regents, bring Dr. Warner back to Haskell and try getting rid of some of those Haskell employees who are obviously not doing their jobs……

Note: Many of our readers have ask if Senator Pat Roberts has given up on Haskell ? The answer is no. It is our understanding that Senator Pat Roberts and his Kansas Delegation continue working to resolve Haskell's problems.

haskellnews commentary

Sept 05, 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.


haskellnews commentary

October 4, 2010


Is Haskell Indian Nations University’s New Windfall Just The Old TRIO Grant? No, It’s Not.

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?

haskellnews commentary

Sept 30,2010.

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:


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