Amended Diné College Charter Modernizes Operations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2022
TSAILE, Ariz. — On May 5, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed Legislation 0011-22 into law, empowering the Diné College Board of Regents to professionalize Board membership, modernize operations and facilities, and create alternative revenue sources. “This historic legislation reflects the shared commitment of the Board of Regents, the Navajo Nation Council, and the President of the Navajo Nation to enhance educational opportunities for the Navajo people,” said President Bigman, Diné College Board of Regents Chairman.
In the signing of the Charter, President Nez said, “We recognize the significance of modernizing our higher education institutions of the Navajo Nation.”
With Legislation 0011-22, Diné College once again leads the way for other TCUs. Legislation 0011-22 includes three significant amendments to the Diné College Charter:
- Professionalization of the Board of Regents: A professionalized Board of Regents equips the four-year institution with the leadership needed to guide Dine College and other TCUs forward into the next 50 years of growth.
- Expansion of Loan Capacity: The amended Charter increases the College’s loan limit from $2 Million to $50 Million. An increase of the maximum loan and contracting authority strategically positions the College to build capital, upgrade infrastructure, and leverage for funding outside Navajo Nation. This provides greater access to modernized educational facilities for all students across the Navajo Nation.
- Alternative Sources of Revenue: The freedom to seek alternative revenue sources allows Diné College to create new financial opportunities, such as forming a holding company or marketing patents developed by Diné College faculty. New revenue enhances nation-building initiatives, strengthens local economies, increases educational resources, and expands Diné College’s long-term contributions to academia.
The Charter of Diné College was approved in 1968 under Title 10: Education, Chapter 19 of the Navajo Nation Code. As the first tribally controlled institution of higher education in the United States, Diné College set the stage for more than 30 tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCUs) founded since then. In 2019, Diné College received accreditation as a 4-year institution by the Higher Learning Commission.
During the 24th Navajo Nation Council Spring Session, the Council approved the amendment and the final vote was 21 in favor, 0 opposed, and Speaker Damon not voting. The College thanks Council Delegate Daniel E. Tso for sponsoring the legislation including, the approval from the 24th Navajo Nation Council. The approved Charter of Diné College is a historical achievement for higher educational opportunities for the Navajo Nation and the Navajo people.
As a postsecondary educational institution, Diné College awards Associate degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, and Certificates in areas important to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation. To comply with the College mission, personalized instruction is guaranteed to each student because of the low student-faculty ratio. All are welcome to apply.