Tribal Colleges Receive Harvard Training

Nov 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 14-2: American Indian Higher Education Consortium 30th Anniversary, Tribal College News

Last June, five tribal college administrators participated in Harvard’s Management Development Program in Cambridge, MA. The participants represented United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), the Institute of American Indian Arts, White Earth Tribal and Community College, and the Crownpoint Institute of Technology. Two received full scholarships through a joint effort of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and the Harvard Graduate School.

Speaking to other tribal college presidents at a meeting in August, Russell Swagger, UTTC dean of students, said he learned a lot about problem solving through case studies, which he was immediately able to use when he returned to his tribal college. Although it was difficult to be away from his family for 12 days, he said, “I don’t know why other tribal colleges don’t send people.” More than 100 people from throughout the world attended. Shirley Bordeaux, dean of finance at UTTC, said, “It was kind of a boot camp for the brain.” Seven or eight tribal college presidents have attended the program in previous years, according to Fort Peck Community College President Dr. Jim Shanley.

Former program participant Rene Trujillo initiated the pilot program between AIHEC and Harvard last year to fulfill his fellowship obligations. Program Director Dr. Joseph Zolner told the tribal college participants that he wanted to develop a meaningful relationship with tribal colleges and to develop a case study specific to tribal colleges. For more information about AIHEC’s involvement with the Harvard Management Development Program, contact Diane Cullo at AIHEC (703) 838-0400 ext. 114 or email <>.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education also offers a five-day seminar for new presidents, which the president of Red Lake Nation College, Michael Wassegijig Price (Odawa-Ojibwe), attended in July.

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