Ignorance at the Highest Level

A response to M.C.T.C. Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa,
by Nathan William Fryzek.

Avelino’s original response

Red = Avelino
Blue = Nathan
A letter was recently emailed to me (and I believe all M.C.T.C. students) by Avelino containing his response to a variety of student complaints. While reading his response I found example after example of racism, discrimination, and political non-neutrality.

I can no longer stand idly by as my school changes more and more from a colorblind, neutral institution dedicated to learning to an institution that rewards certain groups and punishes others because of their race and to an institution that openly promotes political agendas.

Discrimination Defined on the the M.C.T.C. Website, College Policy 2.01, Part 2
Discrimination is defined as conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her protected class and that subjects the individual to different treatment by agents or employees so as to interfere with or limit the ability of the individual to participate in, or benefit from, the services, activities, or privileges provided by the college or otherwise adversely affects the individual’s employment or education.

Racism and Discrimination
The letter was a call to action demanding transformation of campus culture, policies and practices, to significantly improve retention and graduation rates, most acutely for members of marginalized communities of color and Native American communities.

Treating someone differently than another because of their race is the definition of discrimination according to M.C.T.C policy.

Racism and Discrimination
During the initial 12-month pilot period of this new hiring model, nearly 50% of all new hires were people of color and the college has retained 97% of those new hires. We will continue to use this new hiring model and refine and make improvements as necessary to ensure that MCTC is continuing its commitment to creating a diverse workforce across all categories of employees, including faculty, staff, and administrators. The goal is to have an even distribution of diversity across the institution.

Striving to stray away from hiring people based on their qualifications in order to increase the amount of new hires who are of a certain race, even if in order to increase diversity, is blatant racism.

Worse than Separate but Equal
The Executive Director of Diversity will be tasked with developing a student of color/ American Indian student caucus. The caucus, together with the Directors of Diversity and Student Life can begin shaping the student panel cited in item #2 above.

Establishing a student caucus for black and aboriginal students while not one for whites is worse than the separate but equal laws of pre-civil rights movement America. For at least under separate but equal laws, caucuses would have been provided for whites and blacks, under this plan no new caucus is being provided for whites at all.

Political Non-Neutrality
Therefore, connecting youth as well as underemployed and unemployed Minneapolis residents to living wage, family-sustaining jobs in all sectors of the economy has become a central part of MCTC’s work.

Striving to provide tuition-free two-year college for low-income Minneapolis residents by 2019. The MCTC Foundation Board has approved the plan and is taking on the challenge believing they can raise $10.5 million over the next three years to support this.

How can a president of a college remain unbiased and fair when he promotes a political agenda, we all have political views and we should be free to express them, but it is extremely inappropriate for a president of a public college to use his office as a vehicle for his political views.

I urge all those students, staff, or professors who are sickened by this transformation of M.C.T.C. to email our current president at avelino.mills-novoa@minneapolis.edu and ask him to change these policies/plans. I would also ask that you email our new president as of July 1st 2016, Sharon Pierce, when her email becomes available on the M.C.T.C. website.


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