President of Haskell University criticized for son's employment

From left, Joshua Arce, Beverly Fortner and Venida Chenault. Arce serves as chief information officer at Haskell Indian Nations University. Chenault serves as president. Photo from HINU

The leader of the Haskell Indian Nations University is facing criticism because her son is employed at the federally-operated tribal college in Kansas.

President Venida Chenault does not directly supervise Joshua Arce, who serves as chief information officer, according to the Bureau of Indian Education. He in fact was employed by Haskell before his mother came on board, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

But some faculty members and some students see nepotism at work because Arce also held a high-level position at Haskell, albeit in an "acting" capacity. He even served as "acting" president when his mother was away for brief periods of time, The Capital-Journal reported.

Following those complaints, Arce is no longer serving as the "acting" dean of students, The Capital-Journal reported, citing an internal Haskell email. But critics aren't convinced.

“It’s just an email,” American Indian Studies professor Theresa Milk told the paper. “That’s still not solving the problem.”

Chenault and Arce are citizens of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Haskell's Facebook page features photos of the pair at numerous events, including some from earlier this year and some as far back as 2014. Their familial relationship has never been explicitly stated in the posts although their tribe pointed it out back in September 2014.

Read More on the Story:
Haskell University removes president's son from one of his high-level roles (The Topeka Capital-Journal 9/13)
Haskell faculty member files nepotism complaint against university’s president (The Lawrence Journal-World 9/8)
Haskell University faculty complain of nepotism by the school's top official (The Topeka Capital-Journal 9/7)

An Opinion:
Editorial: Nepotism allegations at Haskell need to be investigated (The Topeka Capital-Journal 9/9)

Also Today:
At annual Indian Art Market, Haskell’s Alaskan Club shares traditions through dance (The Lawrence Journal-World 9/10)

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