Episode 8 – Tribal College Movement
In this episode with Tom Davis, he discusses the start of tribal colleges becoming part of the Land Grant Institutions and the development of TCUP.
A lot of mainstream schools resented tribal colleges. They felt they were doing the job and tribal colleges weren’t needed.
The people at AIHEC started thinking about Land Grant status. Leaders at AIHEC were pretty stubborn, it was difficult and they really fought. They weren’t getting anywhere even though they were making a massive effort. But they kept working at it.
Joe McDonald became the hero. They called a big meeting between leaders of the land grant movement and leaders of the tribal college movement. The board of AIHEC voted to accept the deal that was offered.
In 1994, tribal colleges were added to the land grant institutions. Each college was mentioned in the legislation. Although, there were strings attached to the deal.
The idea behind TCUP was to develop technology for tribal colleges and universities. They participated in Advanced Network for Minority Serving Institutions. Kathy Issacson and Steve gathered teams of people from tribal government, federal government, top technology people around the world, global people, Bill Clinton and did a circle of prosperity. They decided they wanted to be at the engine of technology.
The Clinton administration was about to develop a new initiative in technology and wanted to tap into it. Tom called Carrie Billy and wanted her to check into it. Carrie kept working at it and when the Clinton budget came out, their proposal was in there and created the TCUP money. They made the first TCUP program happen at NSF.