One of the top administrators at Haskell Indian Nations University has announced her retirement, retroactive to May 28, just a month after faculty members issued a unanimous vote of no confidence in her job performance.
Melanie Daniel, formerly the vice president of academics, is the latest administrator to leave or be removed from their position at the university — which has been embattled in multiple controversies of late.
Daniel had held her position for less than a year.
The Indian Leader, Haskell’s student newspaper, first reported Daniel’s departure on Tuesday. Daniel herself offered no comment on her retirement, and interim president Tamarah Pfeiffer informed the campus community of the change in an email.
Pfeiffer took over as the interim leader of the university on May 7, after former president Ronald Graham was removed from his position following several free speech controversies. Those involved his attempt to silence a student journalist at The Indian Leader and censoring faculty and staff members from speaking.
Daniel was involved in the latter of those controversies, sending an email to faculty members on March 21 saying that they may not speak to the press or post on social media using their university titles without prior permission from the Department of the Interior.
“You have the right to say or do as you please, as an individual,” the email said. “You do not have the right to represent, speak, write, post on social media, or communicate in any way using the Haskell name and/or your title at Haskell unless and until you have DOI approval prior to the action.”
In Pfeiffer’s email Tuesday, she said several leadership positions at the university would shift on an interim basis. The Indian Leader reported that those changes include Cheryl Chuckluck taking over Daniel’s former position and Jacqueline Boyd taking over Chuckluck’s position as acting dean of professional schools.
Daniel also held a teaching position at Haskell.
• May 7, 2021: Haskell Indian Nations University has new interim president
• May 3, 2021: Haskell faculty takes vote of no confidence in vice president
• April 7, 2021: Bureau of Indian Education rescinds 2 employee speech directives issued by embattled Haskell administration
• April 2, 2021: Haskell faculty takes vote of no confidence in university president