Dr. Jasjit Minhas Leaves Legacy at LCOOCONov 15th, 1998 | By tcj | Category: 10-2: Assessing Student Learning in a Cultural Environment, Tribal College News
Dr. Jasjit Minhas retires this year after 12 years as president of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC) in Hayward, Wis. Under his leadership the college grew from a single donated building to its current size of 60,000 square feet. The campus now includes the James “Pipe” Mustache Auditorium, two distance learning rooms, three computer labs, a public library, a student center, a vocational education wing, an agriculture and natural resources wing, a building for Student Support Services, and numerous offices and classrooms. When the college acquired land-grant status in 1994 along with the other members of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the LCO tribe donated a 220-acre farm to the school for research and food production projects.
Under Minhas’ leadership, LCOOCC was granted candidacy status by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) in 1987 and accredited in 1993. This past spring, LCOOCC received continued accreditation and graduated its largest class of more than 80 students. During recent years, the college has established six articulated 2+2 programs with University of Wisconsin Schools, making it possible for LCO graduates to continue their education smoothly by being able to transfer directly into a baccalaureate program after finishing a two-year degree at LCOOCC. The college has also increased its investments in technology, the number of courses taught off-campus, and the size of its staff.
Dana Gretz of the LCO faculty attributes the steady growth of the college to Minhas’ ability to communicate openly with the college’s constituents and the Tribal Governing Board. More recently, he assisted in writing the Restated Articles of Incorporation, which were adopted last summer by the Board of Regents and the Tribal Governing Board to strengthen the working relationship of checks and balances.
The Tribal Governing Board of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwa Indians still elects the college president and has the right to assume management of the college in a declared emergency, (fiscal or academic.) The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College employs gaiashkibos as the vice president of the college, and he was subsequently elected by the tribe to serve as the tribal chairman. Under the new governing document, the following changes were made: the chairman of the tribe will always serve on the Board of Regents as an ex-officio, voting member; a student will also serve on the board in a non-voting capacity; and any dispute arising between the Tribal Governing Board and the Board of Regents may be settled by an arbitration board acceptable to both parties or by the tribal court.