Verna Fowler, of Menominee and Stockbridge-Munsee heritage, is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Dr. Fowler has taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels and has administered schools at the elementary and college level. She has been professionally engaged in the field of education since 1968. Her professional work also includes service as the Superintendent of Education and Director of Credit and Finance Department for the Menominee Tribe, and as the Executive Director of the Menominee Restoration Committee. She also served as an aide to Ada Deer during the Menominee Restoration movement. Dr. Fowler is the founding President of the College of Menominee Nation. She has served as the chief officer of the College since its founding in 1993. The reservation-based community college has campuses in Keshena and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Dr. Fowler received her baccalaureate degree from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Dakota. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and was a 2010 recipient of the George Washington Carver Agricultural Excellence Award from the U.S. Agency for International Development for work connecting indigenous peoples in the USA to peer groups in Latin America.
Dr. Fowler is a past President of the American Indian College Fund Board (AICF), and served as Vice-President of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). She continues to be active with both organizations. She served as co-chair of the 1994 Land Grant Colleges USDA Leadership Committee. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities and re-appointed to serve by President George Bush in November 2006. She served as a Trustee for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Dr. Fowler wrote the Menominee entry for Dr. Frederick Hoxie’s Encyclopedia of North American Indians and authored The Menominee published in 2001 by the Steck-Vaugh Company in the Indian Nations Series with co-editors Herman Viola and David Jeffrey.