CROW AGENCY, Mont. - The infighting at Little Big Horn College, more than a month old, has taken a more serious toll.
The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, the accrediting agency for all seven tribal colleges in Montana, notified the college that a three-commission-member team will visit the school the first week of the new year to investigate the impact of recent events at the school.
A Dec.22 letter from NASC states: "The Executive Committee remains extremely concerned about the impact of the events of the past three weeks involving the President, various members of the board and the Tribal Council on the stability and integrity of the institution. The Executive Committee has determined that the situation at LBHC poses a grave threat to the institution's continued accreditation."
"This is the specter that has been looming on our horizon, now it is at our door step," said college president Janine Pease Pretty On Top, who was asked to resign in late November.
Pretty On Top said if the school is placed on academic probation after the visit, students' spring-semester credits will not transfer to other institutions, affecting Spring 2001 graduates moving on to other schools in the fall.
She said she hopes the letter will serve as a wake-up call to members of the board of trustees she believes are at the heart of the problem.
"That sentence is the one we need to pay the most attention to," Pretty On Top said. "It does in fact characterize the situation we are in, and that our board members have put us in through their actions. Gone are the days of innuendo and the fun of trashing the president. Now they are trashing the college."