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Pretty On Top says 'warning report' around the corner

CROW AGENCY, Mont. - Little Big Horn College President Janine Pease Pretty On Top said the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges is scheduling a visit to her institution that will surely result in a "warning" report.

"All I know at this time is that I can speculate that the seriousness of this will get us (LBHC) a 'show cause'," she said. "It's a form of discipline, it's a disciplinary notice."

The association accreditation guidelines state that when an institution is found to have deviated substantially from commission standards, policies, or eligibility requirements, the commission may require the institution to show cause why its candidacy or accreditation should not be terminated at the end of a stated period.

"It's taken us all these years to get our institution where it is," Pretty On Top said. "Next week I am sure we will get a warning as well as a show cause."

Pretty On Top said Little Big Horn's problem is not how it is functioning, but rather its governing body - the 17-member board of trustees. She said the faculty council has been drafting a new governing body proposal, but will have to speed up the project.

The president is scheduled to appear in Crow Tribal Court Dec. 15. She appeared for a hearing on an injunction against her termination Dec.8, but was unable to find counsel and was granted the later court date. Since that time she has hired Salish Kootenai attorney Dan Decker to represent her. She said she is still unsure of her strategy in court.

"I have talked to him about somehow maintaining stability at the college," she said. "If I go, seven resignations go with me."

She said more faculty and students have also signed the injunction petition, but added that one student removed her name for fear of her safety.

She said the institution managed to make payroll the first full week in December, despite the board member's refusal to sign paychecks for students, faculty and staff. But, she added, no checks have been made to creditors.