AMERICAN INDIAN ADMINISTRATORS OF TRIBALLY CHARTERED COMMUNITY COLLEGES: BACKGROUNDS, ROLES AND CONFLICTS
AuthorIsaac, Lawrence, 1939-
KeywordsCommunity colleges -- Administration.
Indians of North America -- Education.
AdvisorButler, Henry E. Jr.
Schultz, Raymond E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe effective administration of tribally chartered community colleges is critical to the achievement of American Indian goals for self determination. American Indian administrators of community college programs were surveyed to identify their backgrounds, role perceptions as administrators and their concerns related to role conflicts. The study was conducted in 14 of the 16 institutions within the American Higher Education Consortium. Two institutions had no American Indian administrators. Of 75 potential respondents 47 participated in the study. The respondents had the characteristics of being Indian, of speaking an Indian language, of being committed to the integration of an Indian philosophy into college experiences, of being educated in reservation public schools, of having more than three years of experience as an administrator, and of having come into the position from another institution. The two roles perceived by these administrators as important to their institutions were "advisor to non-Indians" and "human relations expert." Roles perceived as being most important to the Indian communities were as provider for educational leadership and intermediary between Indian and non-Indian people. The American Indian administrators also identified their personal roles as catalysts for change, facilitators of institutional excellence, human relations specialists and mediators for Indian and non-Indian relations. These roles form the core features of identity common to the participating American Indian administrators. Participating were asked to determine possible role conflicts. From a list of 20 statements three were perceived as conflicts. Having a simultaneous commitment to the Indian community and to the institution was one source of conflict. Another was allowing conflict to become the basis for institutional change. A third conflict resulted from attempts to be a successful role model for other American Indian people while effectively administering the college programs. Reviewing their own experiences, administrators identified the greatest problems they face as being a successful role model, the expectations of Indians and non-Indians that they should perform at a higher level than their Anglo counterparts, the use of conflict in their own institutions as a condition for improvement, pressures on them to serve as Indian spokesmen, and being torn between the Indian community and their college duties. The findings of this study underscore the importance of staffing American Indian colleges with competent and strong Indian administrators. The problems experienced by American Indian administrators are in many cases the same as non-Indian administrators. In order to provide the very best American Indian administrators for the American Indian community colleges advanced degree training must be emphasized.
Degree ProgramGraduate College