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EPA Region 7 and Haskell Indian Nations University to Mutually Benefit from New Five-Year Memorandum of Agreement

Release Date: 11/12/2014
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 12, 2014) - Representatives of EPA Region 7 and Haskell Indian Nations University have signed a newly renegotiated Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that provides mutual benefits to the federal environmental agency’s regional operations and the premier tribal university of the United States over the next five years.

The new agreement, which builds on a previous three-year MOA, was formally signed today by EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks and Haskell President Dr. Venida Chenault during EPA Region 7’s annual Native American Heritage Month Event at the agency’s regional office in Lenexa, Kan.

“With this agreement as our framework, EPA Region 7 looks forward to building an even more effective and cooperative working relationship with Haskell Indian Nations University,” Brooks said. “There’s no doubt that both parties in this agreement will benefit from a wealth of shared resources and knowledge. EPA Region 7 is fortunate to have Haskell as our partner.”

Located in Lawrence, Kan., and with roots dating back to 1884, Haskell Indian Nations University is recognized as the premier tribal university in the United States, offering associate and bachelor degree programs to a typical semester enrollment of about 1,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students representing a diversity of tribes from all across the country.

EPA Region 7 and Haskell signed their initial Memorandum of Agreement in 1999. That formal partnership was extended by a second MOA in 2012. Over the past three years, the agency and the university have worked together on a variety of projects and initiatives, including a boot camp to encourage high school seniors and college freshmen to consider careers in water management; providing assistance to the university in developing a sustainable recycling program; EPA’s donation of science lab equipment to the university; presentations to Haskell’s business students on resume writing and interview techniques; and guest access to the university’s facilities for critical meetings.

The new MOA outlines 10 areas of cooperation between the agency and the university:

  • Joint Research Projects – Haskell will be made aware of opportunities to participate in research sponsored by EPA Region 7 through the submission of proposals for grants and cooperative agreements.
  • Faculty Research Participation – Visits of Haskell’s faculty, staff and students to EPA Region 7’s facilities for meetings, workshops, training events, tours and research participation will be encouraged and facilitated. Temporary faculty appointments may be offered during summer periods and, when appropriate, may be sponsored for long-term research participation.
  • Adjunct Faculty Appointments – Haskell will consider adjunct faculty appointments for EPA Region 7 Staff. Temporary appointments may be offered during summer periods and, when appropriate, may be sponsored for long-term research participation.
  • Student Internships and Employment at EPA Region 7 – Haskell students will be encouraged to take advantage of existing EPA Region 7 programs designed for student participation and training. This will include current programs allowing opportunities for graduating and undergraduate students to gain experience during the academic year and summers, as well as paid and volunteer internship projects. EPA may make paid and non-paid internship projects available.
  • Technical Assistance – EPA Region 7 staff may visit Haskell for consultations, meetings, workshops and seminars, and may assist the university with development of syllabi for on-campus course work as requested and as the agency’s resources are available. EPA Region 7 will strive to make key training tools available as Haskell seeks opportunities to acquire federal funding.
  • Mini-Courses, Lectures and Seminar Speakers – EPA Region 7 will inform Haskell about technical training support that the agency may offer on subjects such as inspections and certifications, biology, chemistry, engineering, physical and environmental sciences, waste disposal and other subjects.
  • Equipment – Consistent with all requirements of federal property regulations, EPA Region 7 may provide excess and surplus research, scientific equipment, publications, periodicals and office furniture to Haskell to meet the needs of current and planned education, research and training programs.
  • Outreach Program – EPA Region 7 staff will make best efforts to attend university sponsored career fairs and other outreach events, and will encourage Haskell students to apply for paid and non-paid internship opportunities.
  • Grant Opportunities – EPA Region 7 may provide grant application assistance to the university in accordance with applicable grant regulations, Haskell’s respective mission and purpose, and EPA Region 7’s resource capacity.
  • Environmental Student Initiatives – EPA Region 7 will support Haskell in its quest for environmental awareness on campus through such activities as educating students on environmental sustainability, and providing presentations on topics that support sustainability and environmental safety.
A copy of the signed MOA is available online at www.epa.gov/region7/newsevents/legal.

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