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Former Tribal College President Appointed to Cobell Panel

David M. Gipp has been appointed by the American Indian College Fund to serve as the Fund’s representative on the Cobell Board of Trustees.

Gipp is the former president of United Tribes Technical College and currently serves as the college’s chancellor, focusing on outreach, partnerships and development.

Dr. Gipp is very knowledgeable about education, tribal and federal relations, and is a skilled coalition builder,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the Fund.

Crazy Bull made the announcement of Gipp’s appointment in July, saying that Gipp is “very familiar with the Cobell case and settlement.”

Gipp is the founding executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. He is an emeritus trustee of the College Fund Board, and served on a committee that helped establish the Fund’s involvement in making scholarships with a portion of the Cobell settlement.

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The $3.4 billion settlement in 2010 was named for Blackfeet Tribal citizen Elouise Cobell. It resolved historic claims of government mismanagement of royalties on Indian lands. Approximately $60 million was earmarked for educational scholarships for American Indian students.

The College Fund, based in Denver, Colorado, is the principal administrator and will distribute 80 percent of the program’s funds. The remainder will go through the American Indian Graduate Center of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The five member Cobell Trustee board, to which Gipp has been appointed, must set the criteria for eligibility and distribution to potential scholarship recipients. The funds are to be awarded over a 10-year period.

“I believe I can contribute to the development of a program that will make these resources available to the largest numbers of potential recipients,” said Gipp. “I appreciate the opportunity to be involved on behalf of the College Fund. The Fund has great competency and accountability for administering a program like this to the TCU’s and scholarship recipients.”

Established in 1989, the College Fund is the nation’s largest and highest-rated American Indian scholarship organization. The organization provides Native student scholarships and programmatic support for the nation’s 34 accredited tribal colleges and universities.