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Arizona State University was cited as an influential university with five other institutions across the United States, including Northern Arizona University. Arizona is home to 22 tribes and 28 percent of the state is comprised of tribal lands. Tippeconnic is recognized as one of the most influential professors in American Indian/Alaska Native education among a cohort of 20 professors from throughout the nation.
Tippeconnic is an accomplished scholar who was awarded the National Indian Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year. He is the former director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education and past director of the Office of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior.
Tippeconnic, who is of Comanche and Cherokee heritage, was instrumental in bringing higher education to American Indian students in Oklahoma when he helped start a college there. Emphasizing the tribe’s native language and culture, the Comanche Nation College will soon achieve accreditation status.
ASU has one of the highest American Indian/Native American student populations in the nation, with approximately 2,000 Native American students currently enrolled at the university. A new American Indian Studies master’s program that Tippeconnic was instrumental in creating began last year, offering a comprehensive view of Native American life with the opportunity to work directly with tribes.
ASU also is home to the American Indian Policy Institute, a research unit in ASU's College of LIberal Arts and Sciences, that serves as a resource for research, partnerships and entrepreneurial endeavors that involve Arizona’s tribes and tribal nations throughout the United States.
American Indian Studies faculty at ASU are all American Indians and members of tribal nations, and the university's American Indian Student Support Services supports the academic achievement and personal success of American Indian students while promoting traditional culture at Arizona State University.
A new course to be taught by Distinguished Foundation Professor of History Donald Fixico at the university in the fall, “AIS 191: Preparing for Academic Success,” will mesh American Indian views and values with tools needed to succeed academically at ASU.