January 18, 2019 — The Board of Directors for Red Cloud Indian School, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, announced on Tuesday the appointment of Raymond Nadolny, Ph.D., the former president of North Dakota’s Williston State College, as its new president. As a longstanding leader in higher education, Dr. Nadolny will bring his deep experience and talent to lead Red Cloud through the next phase of its growth and achievement.
“We are extremely honored to welcome Dr. Raymond Nadolny to Red Cloud,” said Rodney Bordeaux, chair of Red Cloud’s Board of Directors. “All of us at Red Cloud believe in the transformative power of education—and indeed, today we are seeing how an education rooted in Lakota and Jesuit values truly empowers our own students to pursue their own dreams, in college and beyond, while also serving their community and their people. We knew immediately that Dr. Nadolny shared that same belief in the power of education, and possessed the strong experience we need to continue to strengthen and expand the opportunities we provide to our students and their families. The members of Red Cloud’s Board of Directors are confident Dr. Nadolny will make significant contributions here, and we are looking forward to working alongside him in the years to come.” Dr. Nadolny will become Red Cloud's 27th president on July 1, 2019, succeeding Fr. George Winzenburg, SJ.
“After spending time speaking with Red Cloud’s teachers, staff and, most importantly, its students, I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to support their work going forward,” said Dr. Nadolny. “While remaining rooted to its core values, Red Cloud has continued to evolve to meet the needs of its students and families—by bringing culture, language, and arts into the classroom, by innovating its curriculum in key areas like science and technology, and by providing students with the opportunities they need to pursue any goal. I am committed to building on that success, and to learning directly from students, staff, and families on how I can best serve this extraordinary organization.”
Dr. Nadolny, a leader in higher education for over 25 years, has focused much of his life’s work on creating opportunity for students in rural and low-income communities. From 2009 to 2016, he served as the third president of Williston State College, a dynamic community college within the North Dakota University System. Under Dr. Nadolny’s leadership, Williston State became one of North Dakota’s fastest-growing colleges, launching an initiative to provide high school students in five local counties with free tuition, fees, and books. Thousands of new students were able to pursue higher education and their future career goals without incurring any educational debt.
During his tenure at Williston State, Dr. Nadolny created three master plans. With zero budget reserves in 2009, he undertook multiple capital projects that transformed the campus infrastructure, including a $12 million academic building, an $11 million residence hall, two $10 million apartment complexes, and a $3.4 million science center. He partnered with the North Dakota Legislature to increase Williston’s operational budget, which included a faculty salary increase of over twenty percent. He has been praised by North Dakota academic and political leaders for improving quality of life not just for Williston students and staff but for the entire Williston community as well.
Through his career, Dr. Nadolny has also worked closely with Native American communities and organizations to expand educational opportunities for Native students. While working as an administrator in Arizona, he worked with the Tohono O’odham and Navajo public school systems in the development of their strategic plans. During his time in North Dakota, he partnered with Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, a tribal college serving the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, to support their nursing program.
|Dr. Raymond Nadolny||
An advocate for immersion education, Dr. Nadolny’s wife Joyce Shui, who is also an attorney, operates an afterschool program that teaches students in multiple languages. Their eldest daughter is a graduate of the University of Washington and their second oldest is a freshman at the University of California Los Angeles. Their youngest daughters attend Chinese immersion schools in the Bellevue School District. Dr. Nadolny and his family currently live in Bellevue, Washington, and plan to move to Red Cloud’s campus.
Dr. Nadolny will lead Red Cloud following a time of tremendous growth and success. Red Cloud implemented its first comprehensive strategic plan, advancing the organization’s work in crucial ways. Red Cloud introduced innovative educational programs fostering Jesuit and Lakota values and culture, expanding both the groundbreaking Lakota Language Project and a series of unique arts education opportunities. As a result of comprehensive planning and innovative programming, Red Cloud is experiencing unprecedented levels of student success, inside the classroom and out. Red Cloud’s graduation rate is close to 94%, compared to an average of 70% for Native students nationwide.
Dr. Nadolny will work side-by-side with administrators, teachers, students, and community members to build on this success and to promote Lakota, Jesuit, and Catholic values across the organization. Specifically, he will focus on making significant strides toward the organization’s goals of recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and staff, increasing access to student scholarships, innovating Red Cloud’s unique educational programs in Lakota language and culture, updating the school’s aging infrastructure, and other key priorities.
As Red Cloud’s first lay president, Dr. Nadolny will bring new experience and perspectives to the organization, while honoring its long-standing Jesuit tradition. Red Cloud is a thriving, longstanding Jesuit institution truly special to the Society of Jesus as its only school system serving an indigenous community in the United States. Red Cloud has the strong support of Jesuit leadership and the eleven Jesuits assigned to work, teach, and provide pastoral care at Red Cloud. As Rev. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, Provincial of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus shared recently, “As I have come to know Ray, I appreciate his fervent energy for Catholic mission and his deep appreciation for inter-cultural partnership with the Lakota people. Ray will join my brother Jesuits, our Lakota partners, and our lay colleagues to lead Red Cloud Indian School to even greater service.”
The search for Red Cloud’s new president began in June 2018. The search committee, which included Board, staff, and administrative representation, was charged with presenting to the Board of Directors a demonstrated leader who valued Red Cloud’s unique identity and mission. In order to collect input from Red Cloud’s community about what the organization’s next president must bring to this role, the search committee shared a comprehensive survey with staff, students, families, and parishioners to gain their insight and perspective. The committee created a set of rigorous standards with which to gauge candidates for president and implemented a comprehensive strategy to recruit candidates from diverse tribal, public, and private institutions.
"We had a range of wonderful candidates for this position, but Dr. Nadolny’s experience and background is truly aligned with Red Cloud’s goals and needs,” said Maka Clifford ‘05, Red Cloud’s Director of Curriculum and Assessment and a member of the search committee. “He is not only an accomplished educator and administrator, but he also understands what it means to serve communities and institutions with limited resources and succeeded in creating extraordinary opportunities for students and families. He has a deep respect for the Lakota and Jesuit values that guide Red Cloud today—and he has already demonstrated the deep respect he holds for our community as well. I know he will work in close partnership with our students, staff, and families to achieve our goals in the years ahead.” [Source: Red Cloud Indian School]