October 2, 2015
The Board of Directors of the Native American Alumni Association of Dartmouth College (“NAAAD Board”) would like to commend Dartmouth College for its prompt and conscientious response to our concerns surrounding the hiring of Dr. Susan Taffe Reed, and for its decision to remove Dr. Taffe Reed from her position as Director of the Native American Program (“NAP”).
While the hiring of Dr. Taffe Reed has drawn negative media attention toward the College and brought its reputation into question, the College’s response to this complex and delicate situation demonstrates its ability to effectively educate and support the next generation of Native American leaders.
Additionally, the NAAAD Board would like to applaud the College for taking the time to consult with, and listen to, the concerns of the NAAAD Board, Native American Students at Dartmouth (“NAD”), alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as the tribes that opposed the hiring of Dr. Taffe Reed. This consultation and subsequent decision allows the College to reassert itself as a leading voice in the education of Native Americans students.
Until a new NAP Director is hired, the NAAAD Board will work closely with Interim Undergraduate Dean, Jeremy Guardiola, and NAP Program Coordinator, Kianna Burke to encourage alumni engagement with the College and support student enrichment. This relationship is vital to ensuring the well-being of its Native American students.
The NAAAD Board remains hopeful that the College will continue to work closely with NAAAD in an effort to promote the best interests of the NAD community.
NAAAD Board Members
Below is the statement shared with students regarding the NAP Director’s removal:
From: Vice Provost for Student Affairs <Vice.Provost.for.Student.Affairs@dartmouth.edu>
Date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 3:53 PM
To: Vice Provost for Student Affairs <Vice.Provost.for.Student.Affairs@dartmouth.edu>
Subject: A Message from the Vice Provost for Student Affairs
I’m writing to let you know that effective today, Susan Taffe Reed will not continue to serve as Director of the Native American Program. We recognize that the distraction of media coverage and questions about her appointment have been challenging for all of you. While Susan remains an employee of the College, we have made other arrangements to support the Native American Program going forward.
You are and have been our top priority. With mid-terms rapidly approaching, I want to be sure that you have easy access to the full range of support resources we can offer you. I have asked my Student Affairs team to partner with NAP Program Coordinator Kianna Burke and Interim Undergraduate Dean Jeremy Guardiola ’12 as your primary contacts for academic, personal and program support this term. Dean Guardiola, as you may know, served the College for two years as a Presidential Fellow and has supported the FYSEP program since its inception in 2009. Recognizing that your individual needs may vary, Kianna and Jeremy will be reaching out to you individually and collectively to ensure that you know we are here for you as the term unfolds. They will both be available to you in the NAP suite in Robinson starting tomorrow.
You have all been extraordinary during this very difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch, and please know that our focus will always be on your academic and personal success.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs