Search continues for next president of Haskell as first round of interviews comes up short

photo by: Conrad Swanson

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

A search for the next president of Haskell Indian Nations University continues after a round of interviews failed to produce a strong candidate, according to Bureau of Indian Education officials who were in Lawrence Tuesday.

In early June the position was reopened through Sept. 30, according to Jackie Shamblin, human resources officer for the BIE, who along with Tony Dearman, director of the Bureau of Indian Education, was at Haskell for regional BIE meetings.

If the right candidate applied, Dearman said, Haskell would hire that person and not wait until the Sept. 30 application deadline.

The opening has come about after a series of leadership changes at Haskell beginning in November 2018, when then-President Venida Chenault left to work on a special assignment with the BIE. In March, the BIE announced that Chenault would not be returning to her position, but would instead be working as a policy analyst in the BIE Office of Policy Development.

Dan Wildcat, Haskell’s acting vice president for academics, served as interim president through March of this year. At that time, Monte Monteith, an education specialist at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., was appointed interim for 120 days, which ends in July.

During the May Haskell Board of Regents meeting, Monteith told members the BIE expected to have a new president by fall semester. However, that was before the search committee failed to find a strong candidate.

The salary range for the full-time leadership position listed on is $124,290 to $161,575. Native Americans are preferred for the position at the federally operated tribal university. Candidates must have higher education experience, Shamblin said.

“We’ve had close to 80 applicants,” Shamblin said of the first round of the presidential search. However, many of them didn’t have the post-secondary experience.

The BIE talent recruiters sent out the announcement to many job sites and posted it on numerous Oklahoma, New Mexico and South Dakota University job boards that have education programs.

Shamblin said the BIE also planned to appoint someone in the next few weeks to serve as acting president for up to one year. The acting president would step down once the position was filled.

“We’re doing this for stability,” Shamblin said.


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