A quality education at Haskell ? Ask Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.

A quality education at Haskell ? Ask Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.

Some of us not so long ago heard Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn refer to Haskell as a premier university: Some of us also almost fell out of our seats. A premier university Haskell?

Well it should be and could be, but it never will be until:

A. A person (Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn) with a master’s degree in social work isn’t running Haskell any longer.

B. Employees who work at Haskell have real credentials (okay some do, but few).

C. Haskell is no longer just a junior college going by the name of university.

D. Haskell get’s a new board of regents who actually do their job and GO lobby for funding, so the student fees do not have to be raised in order for the school to survive.

E. Haskell employee’s job descriptions are very specific and employees are held to those job descriptions.

F. A full out and out investigation of The Haskell finance department is done. Has that EVER been done?

G. The buildings are no longer in such poor shape that students do not have to move out in the middle of the semester so that bathrooms can be repaired.

H. Someone gets a full inspection of how Curtis Hall (Haskell’s kitchen) is being run. We have heard sooo many complaints about that kitchen lately it should probably be closed down until someone investigates just what is going on there.

I. Lately we have been wondering are there any instructors or upper level personnel who say they are Native but really aren’t? We don’t care if you work at Haskell and are Native or Non-Native but we do care if you tell or give the impression to Haskell students that you are someone you are not. That would also go for any instructor who gives the impression that they are oh say an attorney when they are not.

J. Haskell instructors would also need to stop sleeping with their students, start publishing some of their works, ( Venita Chenault since you just finished up an entire year at KU, we can’t wait to see yours ) show up for classes with new materials and hey maybe try teaching somewhere besides Haskell and see if you make the grade there.

K. All Haskell employees need to be drug tested and no drinking on the job.

We tried to look up Haskell’s ranking in US World News and World Report, unfornately it ranks so low that the ranking doesn’t even show, so then we decided to see when Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn had last attended or even worked at Haskell she had not, apparently finding NSU and SES more to her likening.

Is Haskell a premier university? Not while a social worker named Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn is in charge.

What Is Dr. Linda Sue Warner Doing Wrong ?

What Is Dr. Linda Sue Warner Doing Wrong ?

We were thinking of all the things that Dr.Warner is doing wrong and we came up with this list, she may want to rethink it..right Mr.Echohawk ? ? ?


Gave Haskell Healthier Haskell…how dare she try to improve the lives of Haskell students and faulty ? ? ?

Gave Haskell The Jim Thorpe Fitness Center…again how dare she try to improve the lives of Haskell students and faulty ? ? ?

Told the kitchen staff (Curtis Hall ) that they would no longer lock the students out of the cafeteria and that they would serve the students healthy meals …..how dare she stand up for her students ! ! !

Told facilities that they would work and keep the campus up to par and looking nice…how dare she not want dilapidated buildings and grounds that are not kept ???

Told the teaching staff that like other universities they would teach more classes, so that students could be offered more selections, graduate and move on with their lives…..how dare she ! ! !

Told the teaching staff that they had to bring their curriculum’s up to date and not use the same materials and tests they have been using for the past 10 or 15 years….how could she ? ? ?

Told the housing staff that they needed to be at their work stations ( not at Wal-Mart, etc ) and actually be interacting with the Haskell students….what ? ? ?

She’s trying to implement two new BA programs…aren’t four in about 12 years enough ? ? ?

In other words Dr.Warner is trying to raise the bar and make Haskell a REAL university not just in name only…..HOW COULD SHE ?? RIGHT STEPHANIE BIRDWELL-BIGHORN ! ! !

Obama Promised Change.Was Native Education Included ?

Obama Promised Change.Was Native Education Included ?

President Obama promised change.

What type of changes have the Obama administration given to Native American Education ?

To Haskell Indian Nations University they gave Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.

A forty some year old with a master’s degree in social work and no experience in education or the running of any schools as far as that goes. So what to do ? Put her in charge of all federal Native schools.

Obama administration don’t worry about supporting the Presidents of Haskell and Sipi, after all they both hold doctorates and have the required experience to run those two schools.

Obama administration let Haskell’s proposed two new degrees fall by the way side. Never up the budgets for Haskell or Sipi so that you have both presidents trying to come up with enough money in the budget to actually run those two schools.

Maybe it’s time for President Obama to give the changes he has promised and turn both of those schools over to the tribes to run.

Fully run by the tribes.

It’s time for the Bureau of Indian Education not just Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn to go. Now that would be changes President Obama.

Haskell Indian Nations u from The Washington Post & The New York Times

Indian College President Faces Backlash on Tuition
Published: October 23, 2009
Filed at 3:52 p.m. ET

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Linda Sue Warner had big ambitions when she arrived in 2007 as president of Haskell Indian Nation University, the only four-year college operated by the federal government for American Indians. Now she wonders whether those ambitions could cost her the job.

She envisioned major campus improvements and an expansion of the college’s programs. But she also proposed to increase the extremely small fees paid by Haskell’s roughly 1,050 students — $215 per semester, including room and board — to $1,000.

And that was where she ran headlong into the belief among many Haskell students and alumni that the government owes them a free or nearly free education, both by treaty and as compensation for generations of cultural oppression.

Students protested, and members of the Board of Regents called for Warner’s ouster.

”I feel strongly that these kids shouldn’t have to pay to go to school here,” said Haskell alumnus and Kickapoo tribal chairman Russell Bradley.

In September, amid the furor, Warner was sent to New Mexico on what the government ( Stephanie Birdwell ) said was a temporary assignment.

Warner and other Haskell employees have been ordered not to speak with reporters. Interior Department spokeswoman Nedra Darling portrayed the ban as an effort to keep track of media inquiries. ”It wasn’t muzzling by any means,” Darling said.

Darling said there are no plans to replace Warner, who is scheduled to return to Kansas in January.

As for the proposed fee increase, which would be subject to government approval, it is all but dead.

Haskell was founded in 1884 as an Indian boarding school, created to purge all traces of native culture from its students, who were often forcibly removed from their families at ages 5 to 7. They wore military uniforms and followed a spartan regimen. Some died of exposure or malnutrition.

The school became a junior college in 1970 and a four-year school in 1994, and now attracts students from more than 130 tribes. They can earn degrees in business, education, environmental sciences and American Indian studies.

Haskell is one of three dozen tribal colleges in the country, most of them scattered across the Midwest and the West. Unlike Haskell, most are run by the tribes themselves and admit non-tribal members.

Haskell’s extremely low cost reflects the U.S. government’s treaty obligation to tribal members, said Bob Musgrove, a former Haskell business school dean.

The college receives about $14 million a year from the government. Congress approved a revised formula several years ago that would provide the school with more money but has never appropriated the extra dollars.

Warner, a member of the Comanche tribe and a former professor of education at the University of Missouri, the University of Kansas and Penn State, had envisioned graduate programs, including an online doctorate in tribal leadership, and perhaps an undergraduate degree in accounting to help students land jobs.

”We should be the center of Indian education in this country,” she said in an interview before she was barred from talking to the media.

When Warner proposed raising fees — citing dilapidated classrooms, unhealthy dining hall food, inadequate computers and a host of other basic needs — the federal Bureau of Indian Education stood behind her. So did several influential campus leaders.

But soon came a backlash from students, faculty members, parents and alumni. Students began a petition drive to get Warner fired.

Travis Brown, a 32-year-old senior from Dallas, said students are not opposed outright to paying more, but first they want more accountability from administrators and a greater say in campus policies.

”It’s not that students don’t want to pay tuition, we just want to see more results,” he said.

According to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, yearly tuition — without room and board — at the 34 other tribal colleges averages $2,317 and ranges from $720 at Dine College in Arizona to $6,800 at Wind River Tribal College in Wyoming.

American Indian students account for only 1 percent of total college enrollment in the U.S.

The six-year graduation rate for American Indian college students is about 39 percent, compared with 56 percent overall in the U.S. The success rate at Haskell is even lower: a 26 percent graduation rate for students who entered in the fall of 2002.

Still, Haskell teachers and students describe a close-knit campus where individuals are not allowed to fall through the cracks.

”They come here with a lot of baggage,” said registrar Manny King, a mentor to many students. ”Alcoholism, single parents, drug use, high poverty, really no direction and no support.”

Freda Gipp, a Warner assistant and Haskell parent, said the debate over tuition is simply a sign of growing pains, not dysfunction: ”Even though we’ve been around for 125 years, it’s still early in the game for us as a college.”

Tragedy hits Haskell Indian Nations University Community

Tragedy hit all of the Haskell Indian Nations University’s Community when we learned one of our own had been the driver of the car that hit and ultimately caused the death of Rachel Leeks.

With this newest and latest tragedy it is our hope that Mr.Larry Echohawk will have Stephanie Birdwell Bighorn order Dr.Warner back to Haskell so that once again the school will have leadership and someone who truly cares about the students as she does, back at the helm to see Haskell through these very types of situations. Again we ask who was the Haskell President this past weekend and were they available in this tragic situation ?

In the mean time we are hoping that there are counselors available for any of our students who knew Rachel and or her family.

It is a tragic situation any way you choose to look at, a young woman, Rachel Leeks, with a bright future lost her life and all those who loved her lost their daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend and Wheatfields lost a vauled worker. We are truly sorry.

The young Haskell man also with a bright future who drove the car that night… well his life is forever changed as is his families also. While we certainly do not condone his actions that night, he is young and was probably afraid. Let this be a lesson to young people everywhere, split second decisions can change your life and possibly others forever.

Our prayers go out to all concerned.

The haskellnews.

Mr.Larry Echohawk announced last week….

Mr. Larry Echohawk announced last week that he was premature in his reorganization.

Wow, a federal official who actually admits when he makes a mistake.

Do you think a democratic Mr. Larry Echohawk could teach that to a Republican Stephanie Birdwell – Bighorn ? He probably doesn’t have time to clean up all of the previous administration’s mistakes, but he could start with that one.

If you even glanced at Dr. Ted Wright’s letter, you would have to know that Mr. Larry Echohawk needs to send someone in to look at the post- secondary institutions (there are 37) to see how much can be salvaged.

Mr.Larry Echohawk, You might want to see who the reviewing officials on personnel files are, because in a group of such tightly knit “guys” in the current bunch, just who sorts through the personnel files and what type of filing system is used to review these files ?

We don’t have to remind you that the logic of hiring an unqualified social worker over a Harvard PH.D just seems to boggle the mind. You don’t even have to have a PH.D to think that’s ridiculous.

Oh yes, and while most individuals think that ANY ONE would be a better director of The Bureau of Indian Education than the one there now, apparently NCAI doesn’t like any of the finalists.

Since some of the finalists left before the interviews (after checking out the organization) it makes you wonder who would want the job. Probably the good ones run away.

Qualifications aside (since it doesn’t seem to matter ), someone needs to take a close look at the mis-management.

Mr. Larry Echohawk, Can you admit that leaving Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn in place is a mistake too?

Easily enough remedied, put her back in social work.

That way, both of you can be a success.


Some obvious facts to most people who live in a college town:

A University President is typically someone who has been a faculty
member, who has contributed to the knowledge base in their field,
has performed service to the profession, and who has supervised
faculty….after about 10 to 15 years of that, the individual then
moves through the professional ranks in administration.

Haskell President/s NOW:
Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn (believes she is President of : Bureau of Indian Education school Haskell Indian Nations University): Master’s degree in Social work; insider (by virtue of being married to Bureau of Indian Education dispute resolution specialist) in central office Bureau of Indian Education.

No experience as a faculty member on any level, for any length of
time; can’t identify a syllabus or curriculum unless labeled; sad excuse for an someone in the United States Senior Executive Service ( SES ).
We are still confused how Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn joined the ranks of the SES whose ranks are above GS15.

Chris Redman: Nice Okie, just trying to do what he was ordered to do by Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn (we’ve said it before )…GO SON AND BE HASKELL INDIAN NATIONS UNIVERSITY’S PRESIDENT even THOUGH YOU ARE NOT QUAIFIED and HAVE NO EXPERIENCE.

RUNNNING A UNIVERSITY. ( Hey Mr.Redman we have an idea for you won’t don’t we join SES ? ) Poor guy.

Dan Wildcat: Self-established expert on indigenous perspectives of
climate change probably unable / willing to teach anywhere except Haskell because his doctorate’s is in unrelated field of what he claims is his teaching expertise (is that allowed in other universities—can you just proclaim yourself an expert in the field of your choice after you get
a degree in something totally unrelated ) ?

Venida Chenault: Doctorate in social work (pretty much says it
all). We are waiting to read all the new publications now that she should now have published after on working as a KU “scholar ” on Haskell’s dime for an entire year. …..We know the students who have been in her classes are anxious to get her back.

Karen Gillis: Previous experience running a dorm, sorta. Need we say more ?

Okay, Mr. Salazar, Mr. Echohawk,
Stop ignoring what sloppy management is doing to post secondary native education. These Native Americans are your students too. Would you add another lawyer to your team who hasn’t ever passed the bar anywhere ?

Would personnel let you do that? Why is it okay to hire people in
these positions who have no comparable qualifications? Why is it
okay to shuffle these guys around ?

Oh yes, where was the acting Haskell President Mr.Chris Redman this past week ?

What Have Larry Echohawk & Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn Done ?

Softly spoken question all around The Haskell Indian Nations University campus, Will Dr. Warner return? We know a lot of students and employess who are going to be really upset if she doesn’t. What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

Does Dr.Warner even want to come back given the fact that she inherited the “I’m in it for the students but can’t work a full load, sign toting, lightly qualified, and can’t finish a degree when they pay you” faculty. The same facutly that are now working feverishly to dismantle any program that has her name on it. What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

Let us give a few examples :

1.The employees who use to walk around the dorms late at night checking on the students .. .where has that program gone to ? Could it have prevented the rape of the Haskell Indian Nations University student just last weekend ? And now it appears that the dorm staff that is in place can find their ways to basketball games, etc, during their time. Leaving their work stations unmaned and these are the same people complaining about a dorm personnel shortage ? What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

2.Where are the two promised BA programs ? Those should have already been started. A lot of unhappy students Haskell Indian Nattions University is going to have if those two programs don’t take off pretty quickly. What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

3.And well Curtis let’s us not even go there…they just need to be contracted out..ASAP ! What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

How does a program get associated with one person? Dr. Warner has told people, even in the interview if they listened, that Haskell (if it were to grow to be a University) would have to have graduate programs. Why would faculty, and their leadership, scuttle this idea? Because maybe UNLIKE Dr.Warner they have no idea how to move it forward and would be unquailfied to teach upper level courses. What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

Why would the Board of Regents work to dismantle programs that the faculty actually proposed years ago? ( The two new BA programs ) How can you look yourself in the mirror and say I’m here for students and actively limit options with four BA programs in a total of 12 years ? What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

Are there such small minded people who would rather disenfranchise students’ opportunities than to actually cooperate? Or there again is it a problem with the leader of Haskell’s Board of Regents Mr. George Tiger and his lack of education and leadership skills. What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

I thought Dr. Warner had a good idea to use Haskell’s core values. We can identify the problem. Dr.Warner could never get finance ( Mr. Mike Lewis ) to be accountable (like tell her the same information twice); she could never get faculty to cooperate (like recognizing that each group of faculty would have the say for their own programs, HSES knows about HSES and liberal arts knows about liberal arts; the rest of you are experts in your own field) and finally she could never get George Tiger to be honest.What have Larry Echohawk and Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn done ?

Unlike Dr. Warner, I can solve the problem. Stay in New Mexico, Dr.Warner and let Stephanie Birdwell and her Bureau of Indian Education pals run Haskell Indian Nations University into the ground it is already heading there.


Mr.Larry Echohawk NEEDS to speak with Dr.Ted Wright.

After Dr.Ted Wright’s letter came out ( last week ) we decided to find out some facts about Haskell for ourselves.

After our findings we have to ask are the Haskell Indian Nations University Employees really there for the Haskell Students ?

You decide.

Haskell Indian Nations University Employees vs. Other Colleges / Universities / Tribal College Employees.

Haskell Indian Nations University : Instructors: $30-40K ( which is mainly what Haskell has )

Other Colleges & Universities : Assistant professors (have doctorate teaching in field) $30-40K

Other Colleges & Universities:
Minimum standard of 15 credit hours.

Tribal Colleges :
Average 16 credit hours.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
12 semester hours.

Other Colleges & Universities :
Regular advising, research or training, and service to the profession.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Decided to stay home on salary because I am so overworked with having a
large teaching load or decided to teach at another college and get paid

Other Colleges & Universities :
Core classes
Teaching load: 200-250+

Tribal Colleges : Core classes
Teaching load: 150-200

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Core Classes
Teaching load: 100

Other Colleges and Universities :
Attend extra-curricular; extra-mural activities.

Tribal Colleges :
Sponsor extra-curricular; extra-mural activities.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Harass students who participate in extra-mural, extra curricular

Tribal Colleges :
Faculty Work Week: 50 hours

Other Colleges / Universities : Faculty are reviewing articles, publishing, completing research projects; training.
Faculty Work Week Average: 60 hours .

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Faculty are teaching, tutoring, advising, and preparing for classes.

FISE ( Haskell’s Union ) Faculty Work Week: 24 hrs
Using same syllabus and materials for the past ten years or more.

Real Faculty Work Week: 40

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Coaches Work Week: 60-80

Tribal Colleges : Coaches Work Week : 60-80

Other Colleges and Universities :
Coaches Work Week: 60-80

Residential Aide/Student Ratio:

Other colleges / Universities : Most adults do not use matrons and most residential programs / halls are run by the students themselves. * We found no other colleges / universities that have weekly room checks to check for cleanliness of a student’s room , however we did find some that did safety checks once maybe twice a semester.

Tribal Colleges : Most tribal colleges do not run resident programs .

Haskell Indian Nations University : Residential Aides (adults) to Student (typically legal adults themselves, being 18 or over) One to fifty.

Other Colleges and Universities :
Contract Food services/healthy meals.

Tribal Colleges : Contract food services.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Full salaried cooks who don’t cook; food that walks out the back
door; inflexible schedule; intermittent policy change based on mood
of head cook.

Other Colleges / Universities : Non contract ( American Association of University Professors )

Haskell Indian Nations University : FISE (advocating civil disobedience); cyber bulling and dissemination of
inaccurate information; responsible for change in schedule that
resulted in students losing classes; students inability to graduate
on time; students at risk for losing housing; employees are more
important than the mission of the institution aka student achievement.

Other Colleges and Universities :
Employees must meet qualifications for positions.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
You can teach in a field you have no credentials in (check American Indian Studies ) the
premier program on campus that boasts a graduate employment rate of
about 4 students per year—paper or plastic?); you can supervise 37
higher education facilities WITH A social work degree and NO

Tribal Colleges :
Role Model

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Promotes non-indigenous behaviors.

Other Colleges and Universities :
Understands and uses professional code of ethics.

Tribal Colleges : Works hard to create capacity for Indian tribes and students.

Haskell Indian Nations University : Sleeps with students (for those of you haven’t just reflect on the
fact that you stick your head in the sand and don’t report it when you
hear students talking about it).

Other Colleges and Universities :
Regents Appointed by Governor.

Tribal Colleges :
Boards appointed by Tribal Council.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Board appointed by itself; refuses to update by-laws or live by the
ones it has; never reviews code of ethics; never reports to official
inter-tribal organization they claim to represent; spreads rumors;
meets behind closed doors and never questions facts; first questions
upon getting on campus:

Where is my check ?

Who is taking us to Walmart ?

Other Colleges and Universities :
Works in collegial environment.

Tribal Colleges :
Creates partnerships that benefit Indian students.

Haskell Indian Nations University :
Complains about people who are actually qualified (probably because
they are not); cyber bullies anyone who actually works hard so that the
norm will be on of little effort; claims to model native ways of
acting by demeaning and belittling others; promotes division with
non-Indian staff.

The only other fact we can find is that Mr.Larry Echohawk NEEDS to speak with Dr.Ted Wright.

George Tiger where have the two promised BA programs gone to ?

Be sure to attend the dialogue session in Milwaukee next week.

We heard that George Tiger is going to run the session.

That gives us our own set of questions :

Why is George Tiger going when Brandon Stevens ( Oneida ) will be there ? Brandon is the board’s regional representative, not George. Hopefully, George is paying his own way. If not where does Haskell pull that money from ? It’s not monies that would normally be spend on students is it ? We don’t know, but we hope not.

Who approved this spending ? Not Dr.Warner, she’s been detailed. Then who?? We really want to know.

Let’s compare travel expenses for Brandon to get to Milwaukee and George to get to Milwaukee whose expenses are more ? A real regent would understand all of this and do what is best for the students not himself.

Does anyone in Eastern Oklahoma besides George Tiger know that
according to board of regents by-laws, the regent is appointed by a
collective group of tribes?

Would Mr. Tiger keep this a big secret? We think a few people might ask why no one in their tribe is “qualified” to be appointed. They may want to rethink their regent from Eastern Oklahoma. Oh heck, maybe even the tribes in Northeastern Oklahoma.

Like the Quapaws, they might think it’s their turn. Chairman
Matthews was on campus more last year than George Tiger AND HE

We also want to know George Tiger where have the two promised BA programs gone to ? Remember those ? One Liberal Arts and one HSES ?

We hope no excuses about money come up with all this traveling going on. Or maybe that’s not it at all. It couldn’t be your dislike of Dr. Warner could it ? No of course not after all in front of an open board room full of people you, yourself said how glad you were that everyone was working together (some suggested that was just the politician in you ).

That’s right just one big happy family everyone is at Haskell , problem is you didn’t just walk back into your glory days here, you came here for a board meeting. Students want their programs. The two promised them.

You’d think someone with this much tribal council experience could focus and would actually know how to run a board meeting. So, hey Creek Nation tribal members just how effective is George at running something other then football / radio announcing ?

Are you hearing this Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn and Larry Ecohawk ?

George is probably a really nice neighbor, uncle, or like we said
football announcer, but he needs to turn over the reins to someone
who can promote Haskell’s programs and the best interest of the students. Twenty seven years is just too long to be on the board.