PATIENCE RUNS OUT: Haskell Indian Nations University doesn’t need a public relations campaign; it needs a strong leader.

PATIENCE RUNS OUT: Haskell Indian Nations University doesn’t need a public relations campaign; it needs a strong leader.
We, at haskellnews commentary so strongly agree with this editorial we are posting it in our blog today. Thank-You, to The Lawrence Journal World (J-W editorials) and to the writer of this editorial.

Written By: J-W editorials

(U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who has called for an investigation of complaints involving mismanagement and ethics issues at Haskell Indian Nations University, a Bureau of Indian Education school, in Lawrence, Kansas).

After commencement ceremonies on Friday, the 2010 graduates of Haskell Indian Nations University are on their way. Unfortunately, the school they leave behind is still struggling with a lack of leadership and direction while federal officials continue to drag their heels on addressing the situation.

Haskell’s president, Linda Warner, has been absent from the campus since September, when the Bureau of Indian Education ( BIE ) sent her to the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M. In January, she was moved to the BIE’s regional office in Oklahoma City where she was said to be awaiting a decision on the hiring of a new BIE director, a post for which she was named as a finalist.

On Friday, it was announced that Keith O. Moore, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, will be the new BIE director. He reportedly is the person who will determine whether Warner will return to Haskell or someone else will replace her as president. In the meantime, Haskell is without a fully engaged president and is struggling to maintain its funding and direction for the future.

During their meeting last week, the Haskell Board of Regents approved for a second time a “no confidence” resolution aimed at Warner. At the same meeting, Haskell’s chief financial officer reportedly told the regents that the university would have to leave 24 positions vacant and cut several coaching contracts to meet a $3.4 million budget shortfall for the next school year.

What was the BIE’s response to these serious concerns? The announcement of a public relations campaign. BIE officials attended the Haskell regents meeting to tell them about a new “Haskell Gives Back” program to promote positive stories about Haskell to counteract the negative impression that some elected officials are getting about the school. Probably counted among those officials is U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., who has called for an investigation of complaints involving mismanagement and ethics issues at the school.

Lana Redeye, a member of the Haskell regents, was quoted in an area newspaper as responding to the BIE’s campaign, “The best thing that the federal government can give back to Haskell is stable leadership.”

We agree. The new BIE director should waste no time in assessing the situation at Haskell and putting the current leadership controversy to rest. The school doesn’t need a public relations campaign; it needs a strong leader who can attract needed funding and get Haskell back on track.

“Remember putting lip stick on a pig doesn’t really help”.

haskellnews commentary 05/10/2010

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28 responses to “PATIENCE RUNS OUT: Haskell Indian Nations University doesn’t need a public relations campaign; it needs a strong leader.

  1. haskellnews (anonymous) says…
    haskellnews commentary posting for:

    haskellrises09 (anonymous) says…

    The pending decision about who will lead Haskell Indian Nations University will be very revealing. It will reveal a lot about whether this new Bureau of Indian Education Director intends to change the organization he now leads in ways that acknowledge that it is a system in-crisis, or at least very broken. Or if he intends to just keep the boat from rocking. The managers leading reform efforsts throughout the BIE system seem to be floundering around for answers about what kinds of programs should be put in place while not looking at the real problems – the perpetuation of a 19th century system of education that has been proven to not work. It does not inspire students. It does not interest students. It does not keep students in school.

    The HINU President decision will tell us if Dr. Moore has any insight, any guts, any real intention to do anything other than become a career bureaucrat in the federal system and do what he is told. New, bold, expert leadership is needed at Haskell and at BIE, which is ironic, since that is what haskell had before last September. If, and this is a big if, Moore puts such leadership in place, let’s hope he doesn’t allow the HINU Board of Regents and the incompetent manager of post-secondary education to run him/her off. What the lazy, irresponsible faculty/administration/board of Haskell did to Linda Warner is a shame. And the shame is on BIE for allowing it to happen.

    NMXeagle (anonymous) says…

    What do you mean by a “strong leader?” If the dysfunctional BIE would not get behind the previous leader who tried to raise standards and to make staff and students accountable, what makes you think they would bring in anyone else who would do that? Standing for those things do not appear to be desirable traits for a Haskell leader and looking at who is in charge right now tells everyone what the BIE really values.

    Problems have been brought to light from all corners, ad nauseum. If BIE hasn’t acted by now to deal with them then I sure would not put money down that it ever will.

  2. haskellnews (anonymous) says…
    haskellnews commentary posting for:

    NMXeagle (anonymous) says…

    What do you mean by a “strong leader?” If the dysfunctional BIE would not get behind the previous leader who tried to raise standards and to make staff and students accountable, what makes you think they would bring in anyone else who would do that? Standing for those things do not appear to be desirable traits for a Haskell leader and looking at who is in charge right now tells everyone what the BIE really values.

    Problems have been brought to light from all corners, ad nauseum. If BIE hasn’t

  3. haskellnews (anonymous) says…
    haskellnews commentary posting for:

    goldpurple6 (anonymous) says…

    I agree, a public relations campaign is not what is needed at this time. If the acting administration understood the inner workings of post secondary education and the importance of building capacity, research (which aids in current teaching practices) and outreach then maybe they would not be in this predicament. Unfortunately, they along with their supporting administrator in DC lack the experience and barely have the education needed to run a post secondary institution. What did Dr. Warner do that brought upon her removal? And why is it that the acting administrators who were given a directive not to speak to the media continue to violate it and do so? In the meantime only one side is being heard and Dr. Warner is unable to give her views of the current situation. Is there something wrong with this or am I missing something here?
    The current acting administration I am told is undoing everything that would have justified Haskell being a university. I am sure it won’t be long before the RED Center, established for faculty and students to promote research, study abroad, fellowships and houses the visiting Fulbright Scholars program will be on the list to go because it was a Warner initiative. This is just one example, I am sure it will be a matter of time before other initiatives and programs created during Dr. Warner’s tenure will be dissolved. We have seen this acting administration stop the process of getting more 4 year programs at Haskell.
    The current acting administration recently solicited a call for proposals to aid in redeveloping their strategic plan. You would think there would be enough resources of people at Haskell, within the Bureau of Indian Education and BIA, and partnering organizations that might volunteer their time to assist with this effort. But I guess it is easier to pay out money that they don’t have. Does this make sense? Strong leadership is definitely needed at Haskell, the Bureau of Indian Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

  4. Danimal (anonymous) says…

    The Fed should either close Haskell, or get serious about making it a decent university. With the right leadership in place Haskell could have a satellite campus on every major reservation in the country.

  5. doubledogleg (anonymous) says…

    strong leadership at BIE and at Haskell should focus on the fundamentals of educating students to compete in today’s world rather than fostering a politically correct environment with little accountability among faculty, employees or student body.

  6. notanmsw (anonymous) says…

    Concerned stakeholders looking in at Haskell can tell their is resistance to change by the acting admnistration and the board.
    It is demonstrated in the comments made by opposing views to progress. One wonders if the actings were true to indigenous
    thought and believed in the 7th generationphilosophy, promotion of self would be last and the focus would be on students,
    current and future. as haskellnews brings forth information on the current issues, it is so apparent to see these issues
    do extend beyond Haskell into the Bureau of Indian Education. You would be suprised at how little the opposition to
    progress understands education. Therefore those who do not understand and lack knowledge become inimidated and seek
    to undermine and spread false information. With that said, readers of this blog should verify the information presented.
    For the most part the parties involved in providing this information appear to be well informed about issues. and
    as stated before, if you don’t agree with the opinons and comments intertwined with facts associated with this
    blog you don’t have to read it. And for those concerned with the leadership at Haskell and the Bureau of indian education
    you write to you Senators and voice your concerns, it is your tax dollars.

  7. ssakcaj (anonymous) replies…

    My understanding is that the person taking the mult-hour late night Wal-mart trips was VCEM’s alien abducted sister. There were numerous reports of her being there for hours at a time.

    All employees are now accountable? Hardly. They have overspent the budget by $3.4 million, screwed up the course offerings for summer, and have major discrepancies in the budget and grant monies.

    Just for the budget overrun some people should be removed. There is simply no excuse for that and you can’t blame Warner since she wasn’t even there.

  8. ivalueamerica (anonymous) replies…

    I think one step better. As one who thinks Haskell needs new Leadership, someone who had the same vision as Dr. Warner….I could be on your side…

    however, you fail so miserably and presenting a case that persuades, informs, educates or incites passion.

    You read like a rantings of a lunatic, not a mature adult with ideas and passion to change the future of Haskell.

    Dr. Warner failed and failed greatly at getting people to support her, she could not cut it. The job of a Haskell administrator entails leadership, dealing with critiques and handling crisis in a way that moves things forward, not JUST vision.

    I WANT someone representing Haskell educating the public on the real issues inside the school, so since you have chosen to be the only voice for Haskell representing your opinions, and you do so in public, I suggest instead of telling critiques to walk away, you should be more mature and rational and respond to your critiques, listen to them and decide if they have something to offer or not and then move on.

    Instead, you offer a childish nanny nanny boo boo type rant and once again demonstrate that you do more harm than good by writing Haskell News.

  9. NMXeagle (anonymous) replies…

    “Dr. Warner failed and failed greatly at getting people to support her, she could not cut it.”

    There is a difference between being a strong leader who enforces much-needed rules (and that often makes one unpopular) and a leader who accommodates those who don’t want to have rules.

  10. tomatogrower (anonymous) replies…

    Hmm, a lot of developers in town would sure love to see Haskell close, Prime property, and it would be easier to push through the trafficway. Could haskellnews really be working for the developers, a wetland hater?

  11. ssakcaj (anonymous) replies…

    Yeah, another straw man. It is sad that you are at the point where the best defense you can offer for the abysmal conditions at Haskell is the easily dismissed possibility that haskellnews is working for the trafficway “developers.”

    For one, there doesn’t need to be anyone to push through the trafficway, it is already done. The approvals have already been given. The only thing holding it up is the funding and that money is never going to appear. If the money ever did appear, the court appeals would be filed and a judge would decide. One that could not care less about any postings by haskellnews. So the fact that you accuse haskellnews means that either you have no faith in any rational argument supporting your cause, or that you don’t have anything to support it and must try and distract everyone from realizing that. Bad news for you, everyone from the student walking the hall, through the editor of the Journal World and the NM reporter on to Senator Roberts, Brownback, Udall, Congressman Moore and Jenkins, they all know that Haskell under the current BIE administration is in trouble. Pulling the university president who by their own admission has done nothing wrong, was just a symptom. Hopefully the cure won’t have to kill the patient…

  12. ssakcaj (anonymous) says…

    Rumor has it that the dwarfish social worker with the Napoleon complex was pulled and now Haskell gets another acting president. Please tell me they aren’t going to slot the Human Resources guy in there from last fall.

    The BIE is responsible for 44,000 students, has two colleges and oversees all the tribal colleges and the best we can come up with is a social worker with journalism degree who slept her way to her job, another social worker with a Napoleon complex and dreams of squalor for Haskell and finally a guy with a degree in HR in what is generally considered the worst Bureau in the federal government regarding Human Resources.

    Here is a novel idea, get someone with a background in Education Administration to be acting at Haskell till they can finally, eleven months later, make a decision on Warner, move the two social workers to the Child Welfare department and move the HR guy to Human Resources to clean up Kay Hayes’s messes now that she has been demoted. Nah, that would make too much sense and play to each individual’s strength. BIA would never do that…

  13. likeymikey (anonymous) says…

    All the petty name calling by Dr. Warner’s supporters is disturbing. A few lasy employees that like things the way they were when the good Dr. was in charge. We Haskell alumni would like these people to move on with there lives, its not healthy for Haskell or themselves. Sen. Roberts and the rest of the Kansas congressional delegation will start receiving emails, phone calls, and snail mail from the alumni that want Haskell to have a fresh start. I’m sure Dr. Warner is a good person but she is NOT a leader. She can’t get people to follow her lead for one reason or another.

    P.S. Haskellnews is a JOKE

  14. ssakcaj (anonymous) replies…

    How can you complain about name calling and then in the very next sentence call employees “lasy (sic)?” The fact that you as an alumnus are unable to spell a four letter word “lazy” and don’t know the difference between “there” and “their” just gives more weight and substance to haskellnews’s arguments about the problems at the school.

    You claim that the president is not a leader, but from the descriptions of employees, both pro and anti-Warner, it sounds to me like the societal work environment at Haskell has deteriorated to the point where once a sizeable portion of people realized that they would actually be required to work, they just refused. And once it became clear it was going to be a work or get out situation, they decided to work. The problem was the work they decided to do was to go on a smear campaign against the administration.

    Normally that would have no effect, but in this case you have Warner’s boss, who it appears is cut from the same cloth as the above employees and thinks that Haskell should just award degrees as esteem builders, who decides to avoid any attention beiing drawn to her mess in higher education and pull the president out.

    The fact that the BIE with a straight face can have people like Birdwell as the higher education director with at least 22% of her academic institutions on probation or sanction by the Higher Learning Commission, and probably rise to 30% with the review at SIPI, that is the joke. The sad part is that it isn’t very funny…

  15. notanmsw (anonymous) says…

    Concerned stakeholders looking in at Haskell can tell their is resistance to change by the acting admnistration and the board.
    It is demonstrated in the comments made by opposing views to progress. One wonders if the actings were true to indigenous
    thought and believed in the 7th generationphilosophy, promotion of self would be last and the focus would be on students,
    current and future. as haskellnews brings forth information on the current issues, it is so apparent to see these issues
    do extend beyond Haskell into the Bureau of Indian Education. You would be suprised at how little the opposition to
    progress understands education. Therefore those who do not understand and lack knowledge become inimidated and seek
    to undermine and spread false information. With that said, readers of this blog should verify the information presented.
    For the most part the parties involved in providing this information appear to be well informed about issues. and
    as stated before, if you don’t agree with the opinions and comments intertwined with facts associated with this
    blog you don’t have to read it. And for those concerned with the leadership at Haskell and the Bureau of Indian education
    you write to you Senators and voice your concerns, it is your tax dollars.

  16. likeymikey (anonymous) says…

    Dr. Chenalt does not want to be the pertinent Pres. of Haskell. She wants to make sure Haskell survives all the termoil the previous administration caused. From the budget problems to the employee unrest was all caused by the previous admin. failure at leadership A budget is made at least one to two years in advance. Dr. Warner allotted too much money to the athletic department. A big part of the overspending was done by the AD. Haskell will survive this mess, it survived 125+ years, with gods grace it will last another 125 years.

  17. ssakcaj (anonymous) replies…

    Really? Really? So you expect us to believe that Warner had prepared a budget two years in advance that was $3.4 million overbudget. And that having done so and submitted it, was not then removed for fiscal mismanagement? Nice try. Even the anti-Warner people have already stated that the Athletic budget is $400K. So how do you get to be $3.4 million overbudget and then blame it on a $400K athletic budget? Weak, very weak. You fail at making your case and provide more proof about what a sham this whole thing has been.

  18. ssakcaj (anonymous) replies…

    Why should Haskell receive a dime more when, as evidenced by the budget report to the Board of Regents, they are unable to manage $14.5 million?

    You write like Mike Tyson speaks and have stated not one thing that actually makes a case for increasing funding at Haskell.

    The sad thing is that the changes by the acting administration were to cancel all the programs that might have helped to make the argument for increased funding. The new degrees, the Red Center, Fulbright Scholars, etc. all would have provided leverage to ask for increased funding.

    Instead if our congressional representatives proposed more funding at Haskell there would be an uprising about throwing good money down a rat hole. Fund Native American education? Sure, I am all for it. Take the Haskell budget and instead make available up $14.5 thousand dollars per student to use toward whichever college or university they want. That would pay for a thousand students. You say you want more money, great. Quadruple that you and do it for four thousand students. Again I fully support that, but not a dime more for Haskell till all the trash is cleared out and it becomes a real academic institution

  19. roamingnome (anonymous) says…

    Whether Dr. Warner was a leader or not, she had the intelligence and knowledge of what makes a true university. She had a strong quality of a leadership…being a visionary of what Haskell should be – a premiere univeristy. No, she didn’t get the right support which was unfortunate and “Indian politics” became rampant from those who were disgruntled. Don’t blame the Mr. Simons for seeking the destruction of Haskell – the demonstators on 23rd street a year ago did that.

    I only hope that Haskell receives a president who has experience in administration, promotes high ethical and moral standards, and sets a strong example of honesty and integrity for our Native Students (as well as for some of the faculty.) And, a person who is knowledgeable and lives by Native beliefs and culture. A person who is determined to see that our Native students receive a quality education and will be able to find employment with the degrees they receive that will benefit Indian Country. None of the current acting administrators possess these qualities, especially Wildcat (Chenault is knowledgeable of her Native beliefs and culture, she just needs to live it.)

  20. Caesarea (anonymous) says…

    (haskellrises09) I don’t think it is Dr. Moore. It is still mister.
    And this editorial seems at odds with LJW’s article that says “Warner bypassed for Director job” which would have more accurately been “Warner, Hamley, Martin, Longie, Cook, Stevens bypassed for Director” I guess Mark Fagan has a bit of a bias in reporting the facts; probably the “queen of mean” pissed him off and he knows she can’t publicly say anything.

    If we assume that everything said about Warner is true (good and bad) and everything said about actings is true (good and bad) then I wonder if it is better to a Queen of Mean or Evil and Incompetent? Just rhetorical, but this is a Blog.

    It’s too bad Warner can’t publicly comment about the vote of no confidence. Especially in light of the fact that her initial vote of no confidence in the Board of Regents caused it. I think it was Warner who took the staff’s advice and asked why are we paying all this money for these guys to come at GRaduation and Homecoming to do no business, make no recommendations on how they are going to work to create a university (probably because most have never seen how a real university works) but take their per diem and pester haskell staff to take them to walmart. Isn’t there a walmart in every town in this country now?

    Give and take all of this speculation, you still can’t get past the fact that Stephanie Bighorn is responsible and that makes Larry Echohawk responsible for not supervising her and Ken Salazar responsible for not superivising him. Oh yes, and the President, an office that waits until a Cobell litigation size problem arises before it is addressed. Obama inherited another mess.

  21. millie (anonymous) says…

    Why is Stephanie Birdwell still there?
    Is it true VCEM is gone? Hope so.
    Why isn’t Mike Lewis being investigated?
    Why is Dan WIldcat still there?
    Why is VCEM’s sister still working there?
    Who is Kay Hayes?
    Why was Coach Juneau fired? That just makes no sense at all.
    Neither does a PR campaign. Hello, talk about lipstick on a pig!
    @ ssakcaj
    This does make sense:
    Make a decision on Warner, move the two social workers to the Child Welfare department and move the HR guy to Human Resources to clean up Kay Hayes’s messes now that she has been demoted. Nah, that would make too much sense and play to each individual’s strength. BIA would never do that…

  22. millie (anonymous) says…

    Why is Stephanie Birdwell still there?
    Is it true VCEM is gone? Hope so.
    Why isn’t Mike Lewis being investigated?
    Why is Dan WIldcat still there?
    Why is VCEM’s sister still working there?
    Who is Kay Hayes?
    Why was Coach Juneau fired? That just makes no sense at all.
    Neither does a PR campaign. Hello, talk about lipstick on a pig!

  23. drillsgt (anonymous) says…

    detail venida to sipi….for a year….they need help…and take likey mikey with her and wildhair and all the union members with her…if your all that tough you will able to survive out of your comfort zone…..tell wildcat to pack a lunch to…..onward Haskell

  24. geekin_topekan (anonymous) says…

    “…when they have only read it from books and heard it from others, but never lived it?”
    ++++
    What you describe is a tribal issue or a family issue, not a gubment problem or responsibility.

    Look at how many people segregate themselves as “Real” natives. I have heard students actually denounce their own people because they couldn’t speak a language or understand their own culture. How is this the gubments problem? Why would one maintain a superiority complex without extending their knowledge to those who wish to learn? That IMO is assimilation at its finest. Segregated Natives looking down upon one another and expecting the gubment to fix it does not justify the actings behavior.

    WHatever did happen to that 60K grant to finish a PhD? Ljworld ran an article over a year ago. Heck, I even offered words of support for the man!! WHat gives?

  25. speakyoursoul10 (anonymous) says…

    Looks like haskellnews hit a nerve with AIS and members of their inner circle. By the way, is it true there is another acting President? Who is it this time? Keep the blogs coming and let the world see the ridiculousness of the opposition to progress and resistance to change we have at Haskell. And a public relations campaign will do nothing to make this situation better yet it will be entertaining to see what they come up with.

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