KU Life Span Institute Finance Administrator Named Haskell Board of Regents President
Brittany Hall, a staff member at the KU Life Span Institute, has been elected president of the National Board of Regents of Haskell Indian Nations University.
Hall has served as the board's alumni representative for more than a year and is a former adjunct instructor at Haskell. She will serve a two-year term that began in May 2022.
The Board of Regents works with the Bureau of Indian Education to oversee the financial and operational activities of the university, including administering the university's budget and selecting its next university president. The 15-member voluntary board includes enrolled tribal members who represent the 12 geographical areas of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and three individuals representing alumni, Kansas tribal nations, and the university’s student government.
Hall, an enrolled member of the Shawnee Tribe who is also of Mexican heritage, endured a turbulent early childhood and was adopted at age six. She said that being adopted granted her security but also separated her from her Indigenous culture. As an adult she has pursued learning the Shawnee language, participated in cultural ceremonies, and become involved with the Shawnee Tribe, where she is secretary of the Shawnee Tribe Cultural Historic Preservation Committee.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Indigenous American Indian Studies at Haskell in 2012 and said that during that time, she had to find a way to leave an abusive relationship. Later, when she taught freshmen introductory courses and business courses at Haskell, she drew from her life experiences to connect to students.
“I tell students that if they don’t have a voice, they’re not going to be able to stand up for themselves in their personal and professional lives, and then they’re not going to be able to sustain it for their communities,” Hall said.
Learning to use her own voice propelled her interest in getting involved not only at Haskell and in her tribe, but also at KU, where she also volunteers as treasurer for the Native Faculty and Staff Council and serves as an advisor for Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity.
As president, Hall said she hopes to work toward securing the long-term sustainability of the university, which annually enrolls about 1000 students who represent about 150 federally recognized tribes.
Hall joined the Life Span Institute in 2018. She is a finance administrator and currently supports one of the institute’s research centers, SWIFT Education Center.
“What I’ve learned working at KU over the last four years has really helped build my professionalism to get me to where I am today,” Hall said.