Chief Academic Officers


Tribal College and Universities Chief Academic Officers (CAOs)

AIHEC initiated an annual meeting of the Chief Academic Officers at the TCUs in 2012 in response to the strong interest by this group to have a forum to meet and address issues. The first meeting was held in Minneapolis, MN in 2012 which was followed by a meeting in Albuquerque, NM as part of AIHEC’s 40th Anniversary Summer Meeting in 2013. The CAO advisory committee recommended that the CAOs join with the annual student services meeting hosted by the Department of Education and Salish Kootenai College in 2014.

23rd Annual Student Affairs Financial Aid Training and 4th Annual AIHEC CAO Meetings​

AIHEC sponsored the fourth annual meeting of the Chief Academic Officers on July 27 through July 31, 2015 which was held at Salish Kootenai College.  This was the second year that the Chief Academic Officers meeting was held as a joint meeting with the annual Financial Aid and Registrars meeting.  The CAO Planning Committee identified key topics of greatest priority that were that were developed into meeting sessions that included enrollment reporting, accreditation discussions, research capacity building, best practices in academic program review and much more. Thirty of the thirty nine tribal colleges and universities were represented at the meeting which represents 85% of the TCUs with attendance up from last year’s meeting which had 81%, and the previous year which had 73% of the TCUs in attendance.  

The assistance of the CAO Planning Committee is highly instrumental in the success of this meeting. These individuals volunteer their time and energy to assist with the planning and implementation of this meeting. AIHEC greatly appreciates their expertise. The Planning Committee for 2015 included:

·         Dr. Koreen Ressler, Vice President at Sitting Bull College

·         Ms. Birgit Meany, Academic Vice President at Ilisagvik College

·         Ms. Bernice Portervint, Academic Dean at Northwest Indian College

·         Mr. Don Torgerson, Academic Dean at Nebraska Indian Community College

·         Mr. Abe Bitok, Academic Dean at Dine College

·         Dr. Deborah His Horse is Thunder, Consultant with Wiya & Associates, LLC​

(The PowerPoint presentations and other documents shared at these meeting are posted by year.)

An advisory committee made up of several CAOs have volunteered each year to guide this event, recommend timely topics, and present sessions for their peers. This investment by members of this esteemed group has ensured the focus of each meeting addresses critical issues. One of the key elements resulting from this meeting is the opportunity to network with peers and share information. The opportunity to join with student services also was designed to reinforce the concept that student success is everyone’s responsibility and we all need to work together. ​​​

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