Haskell Indian Nations University president resigning

Another Haskell Indian Nations University president is shipping off to Oklahoma.

Chris Redman, who has led the university in Lawrence for two years, announced to students and faculty in a memo Tuesday that he is leaving to take a position in Oklahoma.

Redman and other university officials meeting at the school Wednesday declined to say what his new job is or why he is leaving Haskell.

The Lawrence Journal World reported that Redman, an Oklahoma Chickasaw, said in his memo that he would be moving closer to home.

Redman, 49, came to Haskell in the summer of 2011 after the school had gone through two years of turmoil, with no permanent president on campus and growing divisions among faculty, students and administrators. The school had gained a reputation as financially troubled and unsafe, with one of the nation’s lowest graduation rates.

Redman came in promising to change that. He also said he planned to increase the school’s degree-granting programs to add degrees in liberal arts, accounting and something in the health field, perhaps nursing. That hasn’t happened.

A push by previous President Linda Sue Warner for new degree programs, however, led to a vote of no confidence from Haskell’s board of regents and calls for her ouster in 2008. The Bureau of Indian Education sent Warner to temporary posts in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Four interim presidents led the school after she left in September 2009, including Redman during two stints.

Last fall, Haskell athletics were placed on a two-year probation for violating regulations involving ineligible players. That was after a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Education, made public this year, outlined academic fraud in 2007 through 2010 in the athletic department.

Before taking the Haskell post permanently, Redman had spent six years with the Bureau of Indian Education in Washington, D.C.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in behavioral health and psychology, both from the University of Oklahoma.

Haskell is the only totally federally funded four-year higher education institution of its kind in the country. Students who attend the university all are members of federally recognized tribes, of which more than 120 are represented on the campus. Students pay only a $215 fee if they live on campus but do not pay tuition.