President Appoints Four Advisory Board Members

May 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 18-4: Health and Healing, Tribal College News

President George W. Bush appointed four new members to the President’s Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities (PABTCU) in the fall of 2006. The new members are S. Verna Fowler, Ph.D., the president of the College of the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin; Dr. Joseph Hiller, an assistant dean at the University of Arizona (UA); Richard Stephens, a vice president at The Boeing Company; and Edward Thomas, the president of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska.

“I congratulate these individuals on their appointment to this important board,” said Dr. Gerald Gipp, the executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. “We look forward to working closely with all of the board members over the next several months.”

The board works to ensure the nation’s 35 tribal colleges and universities are supported and have full access to federal programs benefiting other higher education institutions. Its members make recommendations for ways to strengthen tribal colleges.

Fowler (Menominee) has been involved in education since 1964. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of North Dakota in Educational Administration with a cognate in Higher Education. She was active in the Menominee restoration movement serving as Ada Deer‘s assistant. Fowler is one of five founders of the Sisters of New Genesis of the Green Bay Diocese and a co-owner of the Wolf River Trading Post.

Hiller (Oglala Sioux) directs the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences collaborations with Indian Country in Arizona. He holds the rank of professor and specialist in the Watershed Resources Program in the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources. A decorated veteran, he is currently an Army Reserve Special Forces officer.

In a 25-year career with Boeing, Stephens has led a number of businesses related to space exploration. He has served on the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education and also on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Stephens received his Master’s of Science degree from California State University, Fullerton. A member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, he served as its chairman from 1988-89. He is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer.

Thomas (Tlingit) has spent many years in education, from classroom teacher to directing Indian Education at Ketchikan School District. He has a Master’s in Education Administration from the Pennsylvania State University. He serves as a board member of the Office of the Special Trustee for Indian Affairs.

Five years ago, Bush recognized the important role that tribal colleges and universities play in American Indian communities when he signed Executive Order 13270. The executive order provides for the advisory board and for staff in the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCU).

For more information, see www.ed.gov/whitcu or contact WHITCU at (202) 219-7040.

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