HSU President Appointed to Lead Initiative to Increase Number of Students from Tribal Nations in CSU System

This is a press release from Humboldt State University:

Humboldt State University President Lisa Rossbacher has been appointed to lead an initiative to increase the number of students from Tribal Nations who enroll and graduate from the California State University system. CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White announced the appointment this week.

“I am honored that Chancellor White has asked me to serve as presidential advisor to this important California State University Native American Initiative,” says Rossbacher. “At HSU, our Strategic Plan includes a call to serve and engage with local Tribal Nations. I look forward to interacting with Native American leaders and university campuses throughout the state to improve recruitment, retention, and graduation rates for Native American populations in the CSU.”

This role includes hosting an annual meeting with representatives from key campuses responsible for academic support and programming for Native American populations; interfacing with Tribal leaders throughout the state; identifying and supporting strategies to improve recruitment, retention, and graduation rates for Native American populations in the CSU; and engaging and supporting faculty, staff, and student research on Native American communities.

The NAI began in March 2006, when the CSU held a summit with leaders representing 40 California tribes to discuss strategies to build a college-going culture among Native American families. Recommendations from the summit included the convening of regional meetings to discuss educational partnerships between CSU campuses and tribal communities.

Humboldt State University was the first campus in the California State University system to offer a baccalaureate degree in Native American Studies. For more than four decades, HSU has provided Native students academic and community support through the Indian Natural Resource, Science & Engineering Program (INRSEP) and Indian Tribal & Education Personnel Program (ITEPP).



  • unbridled phillistine

    still too early in the tribes evolution to become a college going culture. Maybe 3 or 4 more generations then maybe. Sure wish they could find their way.

    • What an ignorant comment. And more than a little racist.

      • unbridled phillistine

        Veterans friend I bet you havent spent much time on the Res? Or any native village for that matter. Ive spent most my life living along side and with the nates..I have many friends and family who still hunt whales every season.

    • You need to watch FNX(1st NationsExperience) on PBS….the tribes are way ahead of you.

  • Can anyone else see where this is likely to end up? Tribes are not one big happy family despite what outsiders seem to think. And come loaded for bear to any institution. In two years, if not sooner, there will be court cases.

    One person will be devoted to the program as they see it, someone will feel slighted by their actions. People will take sides and there will be resignations, protests and firings. At least that’s been the history.

    I think native studies sounds like a lovely idea but then I’m not their target population.

  • Maybe Ms. Rossbacher should concentrate on getting her own house in order before spreading herself even thinner. Peter Principle at work here?

  • So, since the inception in 2006, how many degrees have been conferred to the target group? Just wondering what the cost/benefit ratio is.

  • Her appt is ironic. The word is many Latino/Latina students consider her presidency to be flawed and racist. That population makes up a very sizable part of HSU’s student population. I’ve heard from several students that her perceived racism is a large factor in the drop of student enrollment.

  • Tribal members have been going to college for many generations successfully. As well as native folks not formally enrolled as a member.

    Schisms occur in many groups and with highly educated members in the arena of tribal governance the thorny issues occur less often.

    Not all who are native get tribal funding for higher education costs.

    Z, Please explain what you meant by “her perceived racism”. Did you mean the students perceive her acting in a racist manner. And if so, have the students been able to articulate their perceptions to her?

    Look forward to your answer.

  • Poppins, There were several private mtgs between Pres Rossbacher and students who were not white and concerned with racist incidents on campus. They came away feeling unheard & felt nothing really improved.

  • Perhaps we could all chip in to make them a safe space? my wife makes very good Play-Doh and my neighbor’s cat just had kittens:<)

  • Considering she makes $350,000.00 per year, its the least she could do.

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