LBHC Board discussed complex agenda

LBHC Board discussed complex agenda

The interim president’s wage and human resources issues and legal concerns dominated Monday’s Little Big Horn College Board of Trustees meeting.

The board unanimously agreed to set Tall Bear hourly wage at $60 without fringe benefits. 

Many challenges face Neva Tall Bear as the school year continues. Shortly after she was selected to step in as interim president, many human resources incidents were reported, including interpersonal conflicts, and allegations of insubordination and strife amongst staff.

Tall Bear herself, a full-time science instructor, already had a full plate to deal with when she was selected by the board. 

A staff member who wished to remain anonymous said, internal struggles amongst staff could remain a thorn in Tall Bear’s side, as all three buildings on the campus seemingly operate individually, even though they remain under LBHC’s umbrella. 

Signing authority was discussed at length, namely how the previous administration ran business. It came to light that the college gives financial signing authority over to five selected individuals. The process includes at least one primary signature, with a secondary signature to authorize the release of funds. 

The board discussion focused on who will now have signing authority, whether signing authority would go entirely over to the new president, if it should continue as is, or if new procedures need to be implemented.

Once it was discussed in detail by the board, speaking both in Crow and in English, the resolution was to give the interim president primary signing authority as acting president. 

President of the Board Dana Wilson addressed his cohorts in attendance stating he wanted the board to remain within their formal duties and not to become involved with the daily affairs or the day-to-day operations of LBHC. 

A motion was made by Trustee Shawn Real Bird to go into executive session when it was alleged there might be evidence of fraudulent transactions that occurred under the former president David Yarlott Jr.’s watch.

The executive session lasted about an hour and 30 minutes, the public was asked to remain outside the doors while the board remained in discussion. 

When the doors were opened again, the discussion turned to whether the current board attorney’s contract should be renewed, amended, or terminated.

Board President Wilson reminded the trustees that given the severity of the allegations that were brought against the former president, it would be wise to retain legal counsel of some sort to safeguard the college against any counteractive actions that may arise. 

Former Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris, spoke to the board at the meeting, addressing the importance of retaining legal counsel for the college especially with regard to the current situation being faced by the board. 

Harris offered his services pro bono to the college in the meantime to assist with the Board in addressing the concerns they have to tackle.

“I am not trying to get rich by working for my own tribe’s community college,” Harris said while addressing the council. “In fact, it is the least I can do.”

The board voted in agreement to work with Harris as pro bono legal counsel until a contract is agreed upon.

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