Haskell Indian Nations University website lists another new name as university president without announcing it

photo by: Journal-World File

A sign at the entrance to Haskell Indian Nations University is shown Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Yet another new name has been listed on Haskell Indian Nations University’s website as the university’s president, continuing a trend since last May of interim and acting leaders stepping into the role without any public notification being given.

Dr. Frank Arpan is currently identified as Haskell’s president on the university’s website. It’s unclear whether he’s a permanent appointee or a temporary one and when the change took place, but he’s the latest in a string of more than half a dozen temporary or long-term leaders the university has cycled through in the last four years or so.

Many of those title changes have been unannounced. When Arpan was named Haskell’s vice president of academics in May of 2022, the news release announcing his appointment at that time mentioned a previously unrecognized interim president, Julia Good Fox. And about a month before then, the Journal-World learned that the university had apparently selected a new permanent leader for the university.

That was supposed to have ended a nearly yearlong search since Haskell’s last permanent president, Ronald Graham, was removed from office following an internal investigation and criticism that he was stifling students’ and faculty’s free speech rights.

But in June of 2022, the Journal-World learned that the search would continue, and whoever was offered the permanent president position had turned it down. Neither that news nor the announcement that a candidate had been selected months prior came from the university or the Bureau of Indian Education, the office that oversees Haskell’s operations. Instead, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, who sits on the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee, contacted the Journal-World directly to share those updates.

Representatives with the university and the BIE ignored more than a dozen requests for comment from the Journal-World about Haskell’s president search in 2022.


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