Institutional Racism at Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Minneapolis Community and Technical College is drawing some unwanted attention amidst allegations of an extreme case of institutionalized racism.

Professor SooJin Pate, PhD is a woman of color who has resigned because she believes that the institutional racism at Minneapolis Community and Technical College creates so much toxicity that the workplace can not be considered a reasonable environment in which to teach.

In her April 30, 2012,  letter of resignation, Pate discusses the unfair treatment and retaliation that she has suffered, such as being harassed by both students and administration for teaching critical race theory in her composition English classes. Pate also recounts incidents where she voiced her concerns about the administration and the structural racism at the institution and was told to just focus on her teaching. This she shares, made her feel trivialized. Other issues she mentioned in her letter were unequal relations of power based on race, gender, and age.

Furthermore, as a junior faculty member, I see the way that other faculty of color—both probationary and tenured—are being treated. In my brief time here, I have witnessed the firing or quitting of at least 7 faculty and staff of color. I have witnessed and also been a target of retaliatory efforts by the administration to strike down or minimize the power of those faculty who are committed to making real, systemic change.

All these “signs” tell me that I am not safe here. The culture of fear, retaliation, and silence that has become the hallmark of this place is toxic. It is for these myriads of reasons that I hand in my letter of resignation.

Pate received a response from the college administration stating that they would be willing to talk to her about her “concerns”.

MCTC is the college that eliminated the Men’s basketball team. According to The Independent Business News Network, the reasons cited were “Last year, the school’s Student Senate and Student Life Budget Committee decided that basketball was not a high priority, and school President Phil Davis accepted the recommendation to withdraw funding for the program. ”  The problem with this said “senate” is that it is the same committee, which is 95% White,  that has systematically kept minority students out when they attempted to join.


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