Haskell President Overruled by Feds

The President of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Ronald Graham, issued controversial directives earlier this month that were seen by some as attacks on the First Amendment right to free speech.

Those directives have now been overturned.

The leader of the Federal Bureau of Indian Education has rescinded directives regulating employee communication at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Graham sent “non-negotiable” directives outlined in a March 11 memorandum after experiencing what he termed “detractors” to his decisions addressing issues at the university.

In it, Graham prohibited all employees from expressing derogatory opinions about the administration and others, contending that such expression was not protected by academic freedom.

A second directive from a Haskell vice president forbade employees from talking to the media or discussing their employment without permission.

Tony Dearman, director of the BIE, told Haskell employees in a letter the federal agency is committed to free speech for students, faculty, and staff.