Gipp named United Tribes chancellor

Jan 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: 25-4: Nation Building, Tribal College News
By Dennis Neumann

A NEW ROLE. David M. Gipp, longtime president of UTTC, will now serve as United Tribes’ chancellor.

The United Tribes of North Dakota has named long-time leader of United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismarck, ND), David M. Gipp, as chancellor. Gipp has been president and CEO of UTTC for nearly 37 years, making him one of the longest-serving college presidents in the country. In his new role as chancellor, he will pursue resource planning and acquisition for the institutional growth and development of the college and its associated tribal programs.

Gipp has long been recognized as a national leader for helping initiate and develop legislation and the organizations that have advanced American Indian higher education. Under his leadership, UTTC has grown remarkably in its educational programs and campus facilities. The college now operates the Black Hills Learning Center, a distance education and site-based facility in Rapid City, South Dakota. The college is also working to prepare students for jobs in the region’s energy industry through a series of federally funded workforce training programs.

“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” said Gipp. “The tribes, tribal colleges and all tribal entities are in a time of declining support from federal funding sources. The second fiscal year of cuts from the sequestration compounded the difficulty. It certainly doesn’t make sense to run government that way from our point of view, let alone meeting historical commitments made in the treaties. But it leaves us with the challenge of cultivating stable and reliable alternatives so we can not only maintain but expand services. And that’s what this is about.”

The United Tribes board selected Dr. Phil Baird to succeed Gipp as interim UTTC president. Baird was the college’s Vice-President of Academic, Career and Technical Education. He has served United Tribes for over 22 years and will be tasked with the administration of the college. He is also president of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Addressing immediate concerns, the United Tribes board passed two resolutions urging congressional action on funding for American Indian programs. The board called for the restoration of monies cut through sequestration to all Indian programs for the years FY 2013 and 2014. The group also called for action to prevent excessive cuts to United Tribes in the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

In passing the resolutions, the board emphasized that sequestration has had serious consequences. To address the challenge, tribal leaders pledge to work with the new chancellor, who has significant experience and background in advocating for tribes and tribal colleges. “We need to bring focus to this and the college’s endowment fund,” said Hall. “We wanted to take steps that would help us meet the challenge of what’s coming. We feel it’s a good beginning to allow Dr. Gipp to focus just on that, to make that happen.”

United Tribes is governed by the five tribes located in North Dakota: Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, the Spirit Lake Tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Three Affiliated Tribes, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

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