BEMIDJI -- Bill Blackwell Jr. has resigned as executive director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University.
Blackwell announced his decision to resign to staff on Monday, said Ann Humphrey, assistant director of the AIRC. She could not elaborate on any other details on his departure.
In an email sent to the campus community of BSU and Northland Technical College on Wednesday afternoon, BSU officials said:
“Bill Blackwell Jr., executive director of the American Indian Resource Center, has concluded his employment with BSU and NTC effective August 6. His contributions to serving the needs of our American Indian students have been significant, and we thank him for his leadership.”
The email goes on to say, “BSU is highly committed to becoming a destination institution for American Indian students. Our relationships with Minnesota’s four tribal colleges are strong, and we will continue to ensure that we provide resources to serve and support the American Indian communities in our region and beyond.
We will be conducting a search this fall for an AIRC executive director.”
Blackwell could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
In addition to his role at BSU, Blackwell also is listed as a board member and treasurer for the Minnesota Indian Education Association.
Blackwell was named as director of the AIRC in June 2015, replacing Anton Treuer, who held the position since 2012 and returned to the faculty ranks at BSU. A BSU graduate, Blackwell came back to BSU from Leech Lake Tribal College, where he served as an admissions coordinator and later as director of institutional advancement.
According to the AIRC website, at any given time, BSU has more than 150 American Indian students on campus. While most students are from Minnesota and neighboring states, the university and technical college enrolls American Indian students from across the country, the site says.