Monday, March 31, 2008

No Ice Cream At This D-Q

Out in the fields of Yolo County is a collection of buildings that used to house Deganawidah Quetzalcoatl University, known locally as D-Q. I drove by it once several years ago--you'd never tell by looking that it was a two-year accredited "university". Part trailer park, part ghetto; I saw no cause for optimism there.
In 1971, Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University, named for a prominent Iroquois and an Aztec prophet, opened its doors. Its mission was to united indigenous people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Local law enforcement and the FBI called the place “terrorist tech.” While that threat never materialized, neither did much education.

Courses were highly politicized, such as Environmental Issues 301, about uranium mining on reservations, and Social Science 242, an Indian interpretation of early U.S. history. The reading list was a politically correct litany of militants. There were plenty of those in the 1970s, including Dennis Banks of AIM, the American Indian Movement. He fled South Dakota after a gun battle in a courthouse and California governor Jerry Brown granted him asylum. Though not known as a scholar or administrator, Dennis Banks duly became chancellor of Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University in 1975.

During the early 1980s, federal auditors cited DQU for various violations, failing to enroll enough students and leasing land to farmers. The audit recommended that the land be returned to the government. Management and financial problems continued to plague DQU, subject to a U.S. Department of Education investigation about mishandled financial aid. The Bureau of Indian Affairs also withdrew $300,000 in aid because of declining Indian enrollment.

The school lost its accreditation about 4 years ago.

Things aren't quiet yet out there:

Eighteen people were arrested Monday at D-Q University on misdemeanor charges of trespassing, the Yolo County Sheriff's Department said...

At the request of the D-Q board of trustees, the Yolo County Sheriff's Department had to break down the doors to the old dorms to get those people out.
Call me insensitive, but perhaps the board of trustees of the school would do better to turn the place into a Dairy Queen.


Anonymous said...

And it took 30 years to get rid of this "schools" accrediation?

Makes me feel good about the feds taking over health care!

Anonymous said...

Oh, is that what it was called? I passed that "DQU" sign for years and never knew

Unknown said...

Mmmmmm ... one of my favorite things in the world are DQ double cheeseburgers!

Babbie said...

I've often wondered what happened to Russell Banks. Professional Indians seem to be less in vogue than they were in the 1970s.

Darren said...

I don't know, people thought Ward Churchill was a professional indian :-)