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New Chair of Menominee Legislature Urges Support for CMN Growth


Friday, Feb, 9, was a busy day for the Menominee Tribe’s Environmental Program Coordinator, Douglas Cox. Only a few hours before attending a public lecture at the College of Menominee Nation, Mr. Cox was elected Chairman of the Menominee Legislature.


CMN faculty and staff were pleased on Friday morning to hear Chairman Cox refer to the College as an important institution for the tribe, with leadership transition and student participation of special interest. The Chairman encouraged CMN’s Board move forward with its search for a permanent replacement for the College’s retired Founding President, Dr. Verna Fowler, and encouraged fellow legislators to support CMN’s enrollment growth plans. Speaking on the latter point, Chairman Cox said CMN “needs to have significant enrollment, as it has in the past.” He added, “It is a strong institution for this tribe, so let’s make sure we support it as a Legislature.”


CMN leadership applauded both messages and on Friday afternoon Board members hosted Chairman Cox, community members, and faculty and staff at a presentation on the Keshena campus by Dr. Paul Trebian. Dr. Trebian, a member of the Tlingit Tribe and a candidate for the CMN presidency, spoke on “Strategic Leadership in Higher Education.” He is currently on the faculty of Cardinal Stritch University. In his introduction of the speaker, Trustee Gary Frechette reported that 30 applications from across the country have been reviewed since early 2017 when the position was posted. Frechette added that the Board’s search process is modeled on University of Wisconsin executive searches which include several review steps. Dr. Trebian is the first applicant to be advanced to the final review step, the presentation of a public lecture.


Legislative attention to enrollment was also welcomed. CMN officials note that almost all institutions of higher education have seen enrollments decline since a decade ago when the lagging U.S. economy sent many people back to school to boost their job market options. Reclaiming earlier enrollment numbers goes hand in hand, they say, with helping tribes, tribal entities and all who are residents of CMN’s service region stay competitive and develop strong leadership skills through post-secondary education. CMN programming for this purpose ranges from baccalaureate and associate degrees and technical diplomas to professional enrichment workshops for adults and pre-college coursework for high school students.


The CMN presidency was held by Dr. Fowler from 1992 until her retirement. During its search process the College is being led by Interim President and long-time Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Diana Morris.