Erma Vizenor, former chairwoman of the White Earth Tribal Council, has been named president of Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake.
For the past two years, Vizenor has been a member of the board of trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. But she notified Gov. Mark Dayton this week that she was resigning from her six-year term to take on her new role.
The tribal college, which has about 350 students, celebrated its 25th anniversary this month. It primarily serves students from the Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations.
“This is such a wonderful opportunity to start the next 25 years with the college,” Vizenor said in a written statement.
Vizenor, a longtime educator, is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Moorhead and has a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. She led the White Earth Tribal Council for 12 years until she stepped down in January in a dispute with other leaders over proposed changes to the tribal government.
Vizenor, who began her new job this week, replaces interim President Ginny Carney.
Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota State board, issued a statement thanking Vizenor for her service. “Although she will certainly be missed, her talents will be tremendously valuable to the Leech Lake Tribal College, and we wish her all the best.”