With the start of the semester, the University welcomed five new American-Indian scholars who study tribal issues in relation to their respective departments, which include law, American Indian studies, social transformation and social and family dynamics.
University spokeswoman Julie Newberg said the American-Indian community contributes to the wide spectrum of disciplines at ASU while offering varied perspectives and contributing to studies that are socially relevant.
“Each faculty member comes from diverse experiences that contribute to their scholarly expertise,” she said in an email. “ASU is expanding the nation’s understanding of American-Indian issues through its Indigenous community at the University.”
Robert J. Miller, one of the scholars and a new faculty member for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said he is excited about his new experience in the Phoenix area.
Originally from the Portland, Ore., area, Miller was a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School when he was invited to teach at ASU.
Miller said he was surprised, but he felt it was a good opportunity.
“When the opportunity came to me to come to probably the best Indian law program in the country (and) to move from a tiny private school I had worked for to an enormous rising university … the more I thought of it, I ended up coming to Phoenix,” he said.
Miller said that the change is drastic, because he was the only professor that specialized in Indian law back in Portland, but he will have many partners in the same field at ASU.
“Coming to this school, where there are three other full-time professors in the law school that work in Indian Law, is an amazing opportunity, and that’s one of the reasons I came here,” Miller said.
He said the Indian legal program is a crucial part of the law school and that the opportunity is amazing for him, because he can get to work with different programs at ASU.
“(It gives me) the opportunities to work cooperatively with other professors and with far more native students than I was able to work with when I was at Lewis & Clark,” he said.
The other four professors who joined ASU are K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Tennille L. Marley, Monica Tsethlikai and Michelle Hale.
Maria Allison, vice provost for Academic Excellence and Inclusion in the Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost, said the University is looking forward to the new faculty.
“This faculty bring a cultural and social perspective that they will share with our students and scholarly community,” she said. “They will add to the wide array of intellectual diversity that characterizes ASU.”
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