June 20, 2024

University of Illinois adds Native American issues adviser

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A new administrator at the University of Illinois flagship campus will advise school leadership on Native American issues.

Jacki Thompson Rand was appointed the Urbana-Champaign campus’s associate vice chancellor for Native affairs. Chancellor Robert Jones pledged that the school will “go beyond the rhetoric of celebrating Native American history and culture to actually doing it.”

Rand, a professor of history, is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma, The News-Gazette reported. She previously taught at the University of Iowa.

Jones, who’s now in his sixth year as chancellor, has pushed the Urbana-Champaign campus to change its relationship with Native American imagery and nations.

Prior projects include campus and community discussions of the retired Chief Illiniwek mascot, creation of the Commission on Native Imagery and ongoing work to build connections with Native American nations.