The Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye as the all College Senate is one element in the governance of Oglala Lakota College. Governance consists of the Board of Trustees, the President, the Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye, the local District College Center Boards, and the Student Government Organizations.
The Board of Trustees is the only governing body which can make policy for the College. Nine board members are elected from the districts, two members represent the Oglala Sioux Tribe which are designees of the President, and OST Council, also one Student Representative from the Student Senate. The Board does receive many recommendations from many sources, and the above process provides an orderly means for all college inquiries and constituents to channel policy recommendations to the Board of Trustees.
Although only the BOT can make policy decisions, they have shared responsibilities with constituent organizations in its desire to assure influence and participation by students, staff, the president and local communities.
The District College Center Boards have delegated authority from the BOT as their actions pertain to the district college centers. There are nine (9) District College Center Boards: Eagle Nest, East Wakpamni, LaCreek, Pahin Sinte, Pass Creek, Pejuta Haka, Pine Ridge Village, White Clay, and Wounded Knee. Each of these centers make programmatic and personnel recommendations to the Board of Trustees. District Boards can approve community and other activities for their respective districts.
The President of Oglala Lakota College is the chief administrator for the college. The line and supervisory staff of the college implement BOT policy, make policy recommendations and develop procedures for implementing Board policy. The administrative structure follows a delineated table of organization for providing governance and operational decisions to the President who is responsible to the BOT. The organization of the college includes the Division of Instructional Affairs, the Division of Student and Community Services, the Institutional Development and Research Office and the Office of Fiscal Management.
The student governments are elected at the district level and represent the students from each district. Student input into the governance of the college flows through the District College Center Boards. Student representation is included in the Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye.
Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye
The Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye provides the internal means by which all staff and students are assured that their ideas and efforts will be considered. Individuals are elected to Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye as representatives of their constituency, not because of their position in the table of organization or their relationship to the district boards and district student governments.
Institutions of higher education are unique organizations in that they are made up of several distinctive constituencies. Each of these constituencies is served by the college and they have important knowledge to contribute to the service provided by the college. Oglala Lakota College recognizes the need for input from each constituency in the determination of policy and procedures for the entire college.
The college constituencies are: The Board of Trustees, Administration, Districts, Students, and the Faculty and Staff. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is represented through their constituencies. Prior to the creation of Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye, input from each of the college constituencies worked its way up through the levels of the college structure. The Piya Wiconi Okolakiciye was created to assure participation in the governance of the college by members who did not have direct access. This organization within the college is specifically for students, instructors, and staff. It provides a forum for addressing college-wide concerns and making consensus policy and procedure recommendations to the President and to the Board of Trustees.