Quote from Mr. Larry Echohawk:
The direction Haskell Indian Nations University needs to be going: Use existing resources to provide quality four-year degrees and improve graduation rates at Haskell, he said. Next would be the possibility of adding graduate programs.
That’s exactly what Dr. Linda Sue Warner was trying to accomplish when she arrived at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, three years ago. The direction that she would have still been heading had certain staff and faulty not gotten in her way.
She had two new much needed bachelor’s degree programs almost finished.
The Red Center up and going and Healthier Haskell too. Are the Red Center and Healthier Haskell to still be funded? We hear not.
She gave student senate a building to work out of and let them have their student fees for activities, etc, pretty much letting them run senate autonomously, as it should be.
The school grounds looked great; she was weeding out employees who should not be working there.
To Mr. Echohawk it may seem like a division among faculty and administration exist, but what really exist are faculty and staff who want to hold the school back and still treat it and its students as a boarding school and an administrator ( Dr.Warner) with enough education and experience to know if Haskell was going to really become a university it had to change, and so she set out to do just that…and look at where it got her ( A warning for all be careful when trying to improve education for Native Americans, there are some who don’t want it).
Two of Haskell’s biggest problems are its employees union, who think that they run the school and Haskell’s Board of Regents, especially George Tiger who was a student at the school many years ago and just can’t seem to let go.
One early issue was the proposal to raise the student fees. This was done because Haskell’s board was not out there lobbing as they should have been. Dr.Warner never did raise the student fees, but if she would have, it like everything else she has done at Haskell would have been in the student’s best interest.
As of today a few problems still come to mind: Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn, as unqualified as she is, one has to wonder why is she still in her current position?
After meeting Mr. Echohawk one has to wonder if Stephanie was ever really honest with him about Dr. Warner and all the positive changes she was making for the Haskell campus?
Or about the current actings who have practically ruined the place?
They have canceled the two new bachelor’s degree programs, taken the student senate building away from the student senate, told all grant people that they cannot talk with their program officers without the explicit permission of Venida Chenault .
Since the actings have had control over the Haskell campus, more incidents and more dangerous crimes on campus have risen.
The actings are people who have really never left Haskell and they continue to nurse at its breasts so to speak.
By the way, here we go with the leadership issue again.
Who is running Haskell this week?
While Venida Chenault is in Washington D.C.?
Not that Haskell runs any better with her, so on second thought maybe Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn should just keep her.
haskellnews commentary 04/07/2010