Press Release

For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2023

WASHINGTON – Dr. Francis Arpan, a citizen of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, will serve as the new president of Haskell Indian Nations University. Founded in 1884, Haskell is a national center for Indian education, research, and cultural preservation located in Lawrence, Kansas.

“The Haskell National Board of Regents is very excited to welcome Dr. Arpan as our new Haskell Indian Nations University president,” said Brittany Hall, president of the Haskell Indian Nations Board of Regents. “We look forward to seeing him lead Haskell into the next era, build partnerships in Indian Country, and be a role model for our students, staff, and faculty.”

Arpan joined the faculty at Haskell in May 2022 as the vice president of academics. He previously served as the dean of academics at Sisseton Wahpeton College. He also gained professorial experience at the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Aims Community College, and Southern New Hampshire University.

“Dr. Arpan comes to Haskell with a record of success in elevating the quality of higher education,” said Tony Dearman, director of the Bureau of Indian Education. “We look forward to Dr. Arpan’s leadership as he champions the university’s future as it shapes the next generation of American Indian leadership.”

Arpan plans to focus his vision for Haskell Indian Nations University on expanding opportunities for Tribal students across the country and creating a student-centered environment where all can develop professionally and personally to bring about an exciting and transformative learning environment.

“My career in higher education is rooted in a foundation of increasing resources and opportunities for all. What excites me the most about the position of president at Haskell Indian Nations University is the opportunity to continue working with Native students as they strive to attain their greatest capabilities and potential,” said Dr. Arpan.

“Higher education and educational attainment directly affect individuals' life opportunities. As an academic and now Haskell president, I am excited to broaden our university’s role in actively working with Indigenous communities,” Arpan added.

About Haskell Indian Nations University

Haskell has an average enrollment of more than 1,000 students each semester with students representing 140 federally recognized Tribes from across the United States. Haskell awards associate and bachelor's degrees in a range of subjects, including social work, community health, communications, elementary teacher education, American Indian studies, business administration, and environmental science. Haskell also integrates American Indian and Alaska Native culture into its curricula.

Haskell’s vision and mission live in all they do as they work to serve students in this unique and diverse inter-Tribal setting with a commitment to the advancement of sovereignty, self-determination, and the inherent rights of Tribes. Haskell is focused on building leadership capacity within its students by serving as the leading institution of academic excellence, cultural and intellectual prominence, and holistic education that addresses the needs of Indigenous communities. For more information, visit

The Bureau of Indian Education implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary and secondary day and residential schools serving approximately 47,000 students. BIE oversees the operation of two post-secondary schools, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and Haskell Indian Nations University. For more information, visit


The official headshot of the new Haskell Indian Nations University President Dr. Francis Arpan

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