Has Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn Sacrificed BIE College Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI)?

June 1st has come and gone and still no word on SIPI’s accreditation status. We were told by The Higher Learning Commission staff that it will now be July 1st before an announcement is made.

Why is Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn not making trips to Chicago to go and see what needs to be done to save SIPI?

Is it not bad enough that she let Dan Wildcat cancel Haskell’s accreditation visits for the two new bachelor degree programs? Then leaves Julia Goodfox( Princess Crazyhair) in place, puts Venida Chenault ( VCEM ) in charge and details Dr.Warner?

We sympathize with Sherry Allison, SIPI’s president who inherited this problem. She at least went to Chicago and had a meeting with The Higher Learning Commission people to see what she could do to save SIPI.

So, why has Birdwell-Bighorn not been banging down the doors at The Higher Learning Commission?

Is it because Ms.Birdwell-Bighorn has no degree in education herself? Does she does not know what to do? For that matter does she even have any understanding of just how important maintaining accreditation is? Our guess is that she doesn’t. If SIPI is placed on probation or sanctioned that would mean that Birdwell-Bighorn, either directly or indirectly, has supervised 40% of the schools placed on probation or sanctions by North Central or the Higher Learning Commission. Yes, that’s right 4 out of 10 schools currently on probation or being sanctioned are under Birdwell. In the real world where I work if I brought in those numbers I would be shown the door. In the Bureau of Indian Education / Indian Affairs, they make you a career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee, and give you a raise.

So Birdwell-Bighorn continues to fiddle while Rome burns. And now it is getting down to the wire and SIPI is running out of time.

Senator Tom Udall ( New Mexico) will no doubt be interested in this, another one of his New Mexico, Bureau of Indian Education / Indian Affairs, schools is in big trouble.

haskellnews commentary

June 02, 2010.

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