Leadership at Haskell Indian Nations University slowly crumbles: School to lose Safety Officer.

It started with the detailing out of Haskell’s School President, Dr. Linda Sue Warner, almost a year ago and has continued on a slow, but, steady downcline every since.

We are speaking of leadership at the school.

First, one of the best, brightest and most distinguished presidents that Haskell has ever had, Dr.Linda Sue Warner, a women who holds a Ph.D from Penn State, was accepted in Harvard and has spent her entire life helping to educate Native Americans, was detailed out of the school, by Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.

Birdwell-Bighorn, a much lesser educated Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) (holds only a master’s in social work) employee, with no experience in the field of education, oversees all of the BIE schools (recent articles are proving that the BIE runs one of the most distressed school systems in the United States). Apparently experience in education is not needed, if one is only going to educate Native Americans. Can you name another United States school system that would tolerate this?

We are slowly watching Haskell lose its leadership. The latest casualty in the Haskell leadership fiasco is Deborah Thompson. Ms. Thompson is Haskell’s Safety Officer and one of the heads of its Facilities Department, she is also one of Haskell’s crème de la crème employees. Often working early mornings into late nights. Any threat of bad weather or danger at the school brings her running. Not to mention the millions of dollars that she has bought into the school through all of the grants, she has written. Her departure in October will be irrecoverable for Haskell.

As has been the lose of the following Haskell employees: Dr. Ted Wright (who admits that employees bullied him right off of the Haskell campus), Dr. Russell Blackbird (who also admits being bullied off of the school’s campus), Coach Ted Juneau (a wonderful man ,who is as much loved and admired by the Lawrence community ,as he was at Haskell), again, you have Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn who oversaw Coach Juneau’s demise as well as the others.

One of the issues that the Higher Learning Commission quoted on Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute lost of accreditation, was, the turn over and lack of leadership at the school.

Apparently, it is not looking too good for Haskell either, with the lose of at least five of its key leaders in less then a year.

haskellnews commentary, Sept 14,2010.


4 responses to “Leadership at Haskell Indian Nations University slowly crumbles: School to lose Safety Officer.

  1. roamingnome (anonymous) says…

    Why hasn’t any changes been made at Haskell? How long will Haskell operate under an “acting leadership?”

    It is not only a shame that the university is not making any progress at becoming a real university. I understand that Dr. Warner’s intentions were develop Haskell into a quality university, not a junior college where the graduation rate is one of the lowest in the nation.

    I had the unique opportunity to run into Dr. Blackbird and asked him why he resigned from Haskell. He again stated that he could not believe the professionalism. He mentioned that in his 38 years in the education profession that he had never had to file a police report against anyone to protect his integrity until he came to Haskell. I was not surprised to learn that this was related to an AIS instructor (one who complains a lot and impregnated one of his students). So, I am not sure if Dr. Blackbird was really bullied off Haskell, but rather did not want to be associated with the type of faculty employed by Haskell.

    It is unfortunate that Haskell is again losing one of it’s employees who is respected and is a dignified professional like so many who have left Haskell since Dr. Warner’s departure.
    September 16, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.

  2. sbobandme (anonymous) says…
    @ roamingnome
    What you say is true, we also know Dr. Blackbird. He did file a police report about the AIS instructor that you refer to. Unprofessionalism at Haskell, yes, that is one reason why he left. However, no one files a police report about a fellow instructor being unprofessional. You do file a police report if you have been threatened / bullied.
    Dr. Blackbird has been a pillar of the Lawrence community for years and is highly respected.
    He is not the type of person to take filing a police report lightly.

  3. geekin_topekan (anonymous) says…
    “this was related to an AIS instructor (one who complains a lot and impregnated one of his students).”
    Could there be an instructor that accepted tens of thousands of dollars to finish a PhD that never happened?

    Could there be an instructor who married a student, the same student who is now in law school after such money was distributed?

    Law school is not cheap. Tens of thousands of dollars would come in mighty handy.

    I’m not suggesting anything. Heck I don’t know that such a instructor even exists. If he did, I think that whoever funded such a fraud would be grossly offended.

    But, who’s to say that such a situation exists. Hmmm…

  4. katatnite (anonymous) says…
    Everyone knows who he ( MT ) is. I believe that a fellow co-worker ( SB ) called him out in front of a group of Haskell employees last year.
    Of course he gets away with whatever at Haskell.
    Who’s not to say that situation does not or did not exist??? No one that I can think of.

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