New Diné College president selected

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — The Diné College Board of Regents has announced it has selected Charles “Monty” Roessel as the new president of the college.

Charles "Monty" Roessel has been named the new president at Dine College.

Roessel was one of three finalists for the position, along with LeManuel Bitsóí and Henry Fowler. The selection follows a series of public forums for the three finalists presented at the Diné College campuses in Shiprock; Tuba City, Ariz.; and Window Rock, Ariz., in November.

Board President Greg Bigman said in the press release that the board made the decision to hire Roessel on Wednesday and that Roessel has a “vested interest, compassion and leadership to take Diné College to the next level.”

Roessel could not be reached for comment. The college initially directed a request for an interview with the new president to the Association of Community College Trustees, which assisted in the search process. The association referred that request back to the college, which was not able to schedule an interview with Roessel on Friday.

Roessel is the former director of the Bureau of Indian Education, according to a biography provided by the college. He earned a master's degree in journalism from Prescott College in Prescott, Ariz., and a doctorate in educational administration and supervision from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

The search for a new college president started when former President Maggie George was suspended by the board and placed on administrative leave during a Oct. 9, 2015, meeting.

Moroni Benally, the college's vice president of governmental affairs and public affairs, told The Daily Times in January that George was placed on administrative leave after a series of disagreements with the board about her management style.

George told The Daily Times she was not given an explanation about why she was being placed on leave. She resigned from her position on Jan. 15 to pursue other professional opportunities.

Martín Ahumada, the college’s vice president of academic affairs, has been serving as interim president.

Roessel is expected to start work on Jan. 3.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.