Haskell University optimistic for accreditation review

Haskell Indian Nations University. (KSNT File Photo)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — It’s an important week at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.

A team from the Higher Learning Commission will be on the campus of one of only two colleges in the country operated by the federal Bureau of Indian Education starting Monday as the school undergoes its 10-year accreditation review. The self-study process requires a university to identify its strengths, weaknesses and goals.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports many on campus say they are nervous but optimistic that the school will receive good marks, and they give credit to President Venida Chenault, who has led the school since January of last year.

“I’m not expecting, necessarily, that we’re going to get the A-plus, but I think we’re going to get a good accreditation (review)”, said 30-year faculty member Dan Wildcat. “We are going to get reaffirmed.”

Before her appointment, the school had gone through several acting presidents, had its athletic program put on probation and its main fundraising arm, the Haskell Foundation, was dissolved amid financial scandal.

“We are in a period of transition,” Chenault said. “This is a pivotal point in us preparing for our future.”

“We kind of lost momentum on a lot of things,” said faculty member Mary Stuckey, an instructor in the School of Business. “She (Chenault) has really had to pick up a scattered mess of things and take the ball and run with it.”

Among other improvements, Chenault introduced a new strategic plan and the Haskell Foundation was revived last year.



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