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Garrity named Provost; Bigman, Hatathlie remain on Diné College BOR

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TSAILE, Ariz. — Officials at Diné College announced the appointment of a new Provost, retained two members of the Board of Regents (BOR) and revealed details about the institution’s $22 million annual operating budget at the college’s Oct. 4 annual meeting.

Diné College President Monty Roessel announced the appointment of Dr. Geraldine Garrity as Provost. Garrity, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Diné College, has served as Interim Provost since April of this year.

“I was surprised,” an elated Garrity said after the nearly four-hour meeting. “I wasn’t expecting to be chosen, but if the job came my way I was ready for it.”

Garrity has worked at Diné College the past seven years. She was a faculty member and chairperson of the Diné College Center for Diné Teacher Education.

Garrity took over the job from former college president Martin Ahumada, who left the job and Diné College several months ago. Prior to Ahumada, Diné College did not have a permanent Provost position.


Greg Bigman retained the title as president of the Diné College Board of Regents. BOR member Anderson Hoskie nominated Nelson Begaye for the president’s job, but Bigman won out.

Theresa Hathalie remains vice president of the BOR. The Tuba City, Ariz.,-based Hatathlie is a relative of Ned Hatathli, who was the first president of Navajo Community College from 1969 – 1972.

The college changed names in the 1990s under current board member and then-college president Dr. Tommy Lewis. Lewis did not attend the Oct. 4 meeting, but was nominated by Begaye to be board secretary.

Bigman recommended the election of the positions of secretary and treasurer be taken up at a later meeting and at a time when the full board is present. Felisha Adams, the student representative to the BOR and a former New Mexico legislative candidate, declined Begaye’s nomination for secretary, citing school responsibilities.


Diné College Vice President of Finance and Administration Bo Lewis revealed the institution’s $22 million annual operating budget. Lewis explained that the total amount is actually much higher when factoring in an additional $12 million in federal grants that Diné College receives.

Roessel, president since January 2017, gave a lengthy presentation on enrollment, recruitment, graduation rates, instruction, objectives and goals and institutional identity.

“There is mobility in enrollment,” Roessel told the gathering of just more than 100 students, administrators and invited guests. “We have the right recipe for success. It’s not just one thing — it’s a lot of things.”

Roessel noted that things on the college’s “front burner” are the creation of a law school and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The meeting was held at the Student Union Building and featured presentations by several college administrators on topics such as community outreach, mission and culture, among other topics.

Diné College is a tribally-controlled institution with satellite campuses in McKinley and San Juan counties and with a main campus in Tsaile, Ariz. The college was established in 1968 as Navajo Community College.

By Bernie Dotson

Diné College
Office of Public Relations