ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Nine new fellows have been selected for the American
Indian Higher Education Consortium's 2005 -- '06 leadership training
The program, inaugurated in 2003, is designed to prepare a new generation
of senior-level administrators for the country's tribal colleges and
universities over a three-year period. It is funded as part of a broader,
first-of-its-kind program -- the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education --
with a four-year, $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, based
in Battle Creek, Mich.
Surveys of fellows who completed the first and second year-long sessions of
the program show that one participant has since been appointed president of
their college, three completed doctorate degrees, three were named vice
presidents, one accepted an endowed chair position and another advanced to
a project director position.
"The opportunity to learn about all aspects of the tribal college systems
will provide a better-informed leader," said Davona Lone Wolf, a faculty
member at South Dakota's Oglala Lakota College and a participant in the
2003 -- '04 program. "A better-informed and knowledgeable leader will be
able to lead the institution to levels of excellence in the future."
Tribal colleges have found that the uniqueness of their institutions
requires a set of skills and a worldview that is not typically available in
Indian country or from other higher education institutions. It is essential
that tribal values permeate tribal colleges in terms of curriculum,
personnel management, student services and administration.
"We have the responsibility of doing everything we can for our students to
succeed," added Ida Downwind, a 2003 -- '04 fellow who serves as associate
vice president of academics at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota. "I
want to effectively educate our American Indian people while being an
active participant in the tribal colleges to meet our unique needs."
Through collaboration with the other organizations, the AIHEC-Kellogg-MSI
leadership fellows experience a curriculum that focuses on many of the
issues faced by leaders of colleges and universities, while emphasizing
issues and concerns that are specifically found at tribal colleges.
The program includes training on the history and purpose of
minority-serving institutions, financial management and fund-raising,
tribal sovereignty, cultural issues, academic achievement, governing boards
and program development, among other topics. Fellows also partner with
other top school administrators, who serve as mentors.