UTTC Purchases Land to Expand Campus

May 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 12-4: Colleges for the Community, Tribal College News

United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) has purchased 132 acres of land adjacent to the south side of the campus in Bismarck, N.D., for future growth and development. “The purchase doubles the present campus acreage and increases institutional capacity and opportunity for growth,” said Dr. David M. Gipp, UTTC president.

The south campus expansion was made possible by the American Indian College Fund, which received contributions from several foundations. UTTC is one of only two tribally-controlled vocational technical institutions in the nation.   Founded in 1969, the college has provided residential education services for over 10,000 American Indian students and their families. Over the years, expansion of campus facilities included the additions of a Skills Center (1978), Child Development Center (1979), James Henry Community Center (1982), Solo dormitory (1992), Art Gallery (1993), and Cultural Arts Interpretive Center (2001).

Facilities on the 105-acre UTTC campus preserve a rich local history. Most of the original facilities were built in the early 1900s when they were used as a military post site for Fort Abraham Lincoln. Later, during World War II, the buildings housed German and Japanese prisoners. The campus was also used as a Job Corps training center.

Russell Swagger, dean of student and campus services, said, “The red building bricks are crumbling and increasingly more difficult to heat, especially with North Dakota winters. In some cases, renovation of the existing buildings is more expensive than building new.”

Campus growth will allow future expansion of current programs such as Injury Prevention, Tribal Management, Computer Services, Teacher Training, Tourism, and Distance Education. According to Dr. John Derby, dean of academic services, “We (UTTC) are addressing the needs of Indian Country from the grassroots up, and the students recognize the importance of education as a means of improving community, themselves, and their families.”

UTTC serves the academic needs of American Indian students from over 30 tribal nations located in 15 different states. The Theodore Jamerson Elementary School (TJES) is located on campus and serves the K-8 grade. “Expansion means increasing the number of adult students attending, which directly impacts the number of children served by TJES,” states Sam Azure, dean of childhood education.

The college also has an inter-tribal mission to serve as a forum for special projects aimed at the perpetuation of tribal rights and the economic progress of American Indians. UTTC serves as headquarters for the N.D. Indian Gaming Commission, Sacred Child Project, Transportation Technical Assistance Program, Region VI Comprehensive Center, ND/SD Native American Business Development Center, and Workforce Investment Act. According to UTTC Board Chairman and Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Charles W. Murphy, “UTTC has successfully maintained 30 years of academic excellence and service. Expansion elevates us to the next level of service for tribes.” For additional information, contact John Beheler at 701/ 255-3285 Ext. 266.

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