|October 18, 2012
Luana Ross resigns as Salish Kootenai College President
By Lailani Upham
Luana Ross resigned as Salish Kootenai College President last week. (file photo)
PABLO — Dr. Luana Ross announced her resignation as President of Salish Kootenai College last Friday in an open letter.
Ross stated, “As of today, I have elected to terminate my contractual relationship with the Salish Kootenai College, resigning my position as President of the institution, effective immediately. I am compelled to take this action due to irreconcilable visions between myself and some members of the governing board.”
According to a press release from the SKC Board of Directors, the resignation was regretfully accepted. “The Board of Directors respectfully accepts her decision and we wish her well, “ said Jim Durglo, SKC Board Chair.
Dr. Ross served as President since July 1, 2010, stepping into a position that was held by previous and decades-serving President Dr. Joe McDonald. McDonald served over 30 years.
“Professionally, as the person chosen to follow in the footsteps of a long-serving former president, I anticipated significant hurdles associated with such a change in leadership and this proved to be true,” Ross stated.
In a staff/faculty meeting last Thursday, the Board announced the resignation and that Dr. Elaine Frank is appointed as Acting President while the committee is in search of the college’s top position.
Durglo stated attention should remain on serving the students and moving forward in a positive way.
Durglo affirmed Frank’s experience and long time service with the college that she has the ability to pick up the ball and help SKC move forward.
The Board encouraged the team (faculty and staff) to keep doing their jobs as they have and to keep the focus on the students.
Currently there are 1,170 enrolled students in 35 different certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs. Over 75 percent students at SKC are Native American.
Dr. Ross stated it had been a personally gratifying experience working with the students, who are the heart of the college. She added, “Additionally it was a privilege to interact with so many wonderful faculty members and professional staff. Coming home for this work with my tribe was a distinct honor.”
Ross stated that as a part of meeting challenges head on she inserted that she was very proud of the progress made during her tenure.
Five of the achievements Ross included were: addressing unethical behavior involved in the grade changing incident in the Nursing Department last spring; made campus environment safer by enacting improved policies on violent and sexual offenders; a sustainability commission for a greener campus and community; increased humanity through support of the LGBT community; and brought awareness of the prestigious faculty on board to the community through a Presidential lecture series.
Dr. Ross returned to instruction, academic research, and writing at the University of Washington. “I am grateful to call many new people friends, and to hold dear to many cherished memories of my time spent at Salish Kootenai College.”
With the unexpected shift at the college, Frank concurred that everyone is there for the students and to keep it in mind and be strong. She stated to continue to work and build together and reassured the SKC family, “We will be fine.”