Haskell Indian Nations University has a new president. The Lawrence, Kansas, college will be led by Dr. Ronald Graham, who has an extensive history in education and law enforcement. Tony Dearman, director of the Bureau of Indian Education, made the announcement May 15.
“Dr. Graham comes with tremendous skills and abilities not only in educational programs, but also in focusing on diversity and inclusion in education,” Dearman said in a statement. “Dr. Graham is passionate about soliciting and using input from stakeholders and fostering a team environment to create success. His leadership style will provide the platform necessary for Haskell’s current dedicated staff to be part of team decisions that will move Haskell forward.”
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has a long history with Haskell. Some of the Tribe’s all-time top athletes – such as Moses Jumper Jr., Peter Hahn and Duelle Gore – attended Haskell. In recent years, Haskell coaches have held youth clinics for young Seminole athletes and have been guest speakers at tribal functions on Seminole reservations.
Graham is a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. He started work at Haskell on Monday.
“To work with a university, such as this flagship institution, that educates tribal youth and future tribal leadership is extremely exciting,” Graham said. “In the past, I have worked on five-year strategic plans, marketing ideas, improving student retention and growth, as well as enhancing university IT software and much more. I plan to use this experience to drive projects to improve the student and staff experience at Haskell. This will be a total university team effort to move Haskell forward into the next phase of the college’s already phenomenal legacy.”
According to his Linkedin profile, Graham previously served for five years as the dean of instruction in health sciences, public safety and industrial technology atVictor Valley College in Victorville, California. Graham was a criminology professor at Fresno City College for 13 years and he also worked at Northwest Christian University in Oregon and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. His background also includes employment in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff and police academy instructor in California. He also served as a law enforcement professional in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Haskell students represent more than 140 federally recognized tribes, including the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Its enrollment averages about 1,000 per semester.