Tribal Colleges Announce Presidents’ Transitions

Aug 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 19-1: Tribal College Students Today, Tribal College News

Several tribal colleges have named new presidents within the last 14 months. The appointments include several tribal college veterans and two graduates of the leadership development program sponsored by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Most recently, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA, Santa Fe, NM) named Robert Martin, Ed.D., as president in May 2007. He served as president of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI, Albuquerque, NM) from 1981-1989. For 10 years, he was president at Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, KS) from 1989-1999. For four years, Martin (Cherokee) served as president of Tohono O’odham Community College from 2001-2005. Most recently, he has been associate head of the American Indian Studies Programs at the University of Arizona.

Georgianna Tiger was named president at Little Priest Tribal College (Winnebago, NE). Her appointment was announced at the March 2007 AIHEC board meeting. In the early 1990s she was executive director of AIHEC.

Early this year, Sisseton Wahpeton College named Diana Canku, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Lakota Tribe, as president. She was previously chief administrative officer at the college. Canku participated in the AIHEC Leadership Development Program.

In June 2006, Jeffrey Hamley, Ed.D., was named as president of SIPI. An enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Hamley previously served as president of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Michigan, academic dean at IAIA in New Mexico, extension dean at Northwest Indian College in Washington, and policy analyst for AIHEC. He received his Doctorate of Education from Harvard University.

Also in June, Elmer Guy was named president of the Crownpoint Institute of Technology (now Navajo Technical College) in Crownpoint, NM. Guy (Navajo) graduated from the AIHEC Leadership Program. He had worked at the college for 7 years, serving as acting president, vice president of academic and student services, and dean of instruction. He earned his Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Administration from the University of San Francisco and is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona.

Of the 35 tribal colleges, nearly half of the presidents (16) are women compared with 19 men. In other news, Dr. Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet, the first female president of Diné College, was chosen to be president of Antioch University Seattle last April. Manuelito-Kerkvliet (Navajo) is believed to be the first American Indian woman to serve as president of an accredited university outside the tribal college system.

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