June 2020 newsletter
George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis is forcing all Americans to see the toll of systemic racism and racial disparities, especially on our black and brown communities. His death has broken open hearts and minds. All of us are called to action that ends systemic racism.
As our institutions fulfill their educational missions, we must foster a deeper understanding of the imperative to address the impacts of racism and privilege. We must do more to improve equity in our institutions and our society. And we must listen to our students of color and Native American students and welcome their leadership if we are going to finally dismantle institutionalized racism. Their voices, vision, and commitment are essential in this endeavor.
Below are some of the statements that have been shared by the colleges and universities that are members of the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Private College Fund.
President, College of Saint Benedict
Board chair, Minnesota Private College Council and Minnesota Private College Fund
President, Minnesota Private College Council and Minnesota Private College Fund
Statements from our member institutions
- Augsburg University
- Bethany Lutheran College
- Bethel University
- Carleton College
- College of Saint Benedict
- The College of St. Scholastica
- Concordia College
- Concordia University, St. Paul
- Gustavus Adolphus College
- Hamline University
- Macalester College
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design
- Saint John's University
- Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
- St. Catherine University
- St. Olaf College
- University of St. Thomas
Campus visits are a classic part of how students hunt for the right college. With COVID-19 limiting what families can do in-person, exploring college options is still possible, given how much is available online these days.
“Colleges have stepped up — there are so many more resources now for students than there ever has been,” said Kate Malczewski, independent educational consultant and partner at College Connectors. “Students have access to faculty and staff in ways that they haven't had before. So, they might not get to campus physically, but I feel like they are getting the best possible alternative.”
Traditionally campus visits often include taking a tour, meeting current students, seeing classrooms and maybe eating in the dining hall. Online offerings have some consistent components as well, including how they have used videos and maps to create interactive “virtual tour” options.
In-person campus visits offer a lot for perspective students and families, and it may seem challenging to replace them. “Take the college search this summer piece by piece,” said Jessica Brosvik, assistant director of admissions at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. “If you were looking forward to something particular about a campus visit try to find it in a digital option — whether it’s talking with faculty or touring an art studio.”
Minneapolis College of Art and Design, like other private colleges, is providing new opportunities to connect to campus from digital art sessions with faculty to virtual tours with admissions staff, Brosvik said.
“We recommend all of our students take a virtual tour of campus,” Malczewski said. “Go to college websites and take in as many virtual options as they can. Even use social media to connect to colleges; colleges have done a great job with their social media presences. It’s certainly not a time to just wait till the fall.”
To help families with their online search, Minnesota private colleges have launched a new campaign called Summer Explorations. The campaign’s website offers an easy place to get started. For families looking for a virtual admission session to work with their schedules, there’s a shared calendar. There’s advice for how to begin a college search, resources describing the different colleges and a schedule of virtual panels that combine reps from a few colleges in one conversation.
Even with social distancing restrictions easing and colleges beginning to offer some one-on-one in-person visits, virtual options are still important tools for the college search process this summer.
By Tom Lancaster
Excerpted with permission from St. Catherine University. View original article.
George Floyd’s death and the worldwide protests that followed have magnified social justice and racial inequity conversations, driving more attention to the ongoing and systemic disparities in healthcare, housing, employment, education, incarceration, net wealth, and police brutality for Black people and communities in the United States.
These disparities are complex and layered, says Taiyon J. Coleman, PhD, associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at St. Kate’s.
“It’s not just color. It’s also what class you are, where you live, what you look like, where you work. I have a colleague who lives in St. Paul, who told me that the police were outside her house in riot gear with bullhorns telling them to stay inside and not come out of the house. Where I live, in the Nokomis neighborhood, that wasn’t happening at all,” Coleman said in a recent CityLab article on the Twin Cities and its role in the turmoil of the past two weeks. “I would argue that this is how segregation works in Minneapolis or Minnesota: It reinscribes the racial stereotypes, because it keeps peaceful people isolated, so that not only are they the other, but then I’m convinced they’re the other, because I never see them where I live.”
The current reality Coleman describes is rooted in centuries of housing inequity and discrimination. It is also the focus of “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?: A History of Housing Inequality in Ramsey County,” a project launched by an interdisciplinary team of St. Kate’s faculty and staff, in collaboration with Mapping Prejudice and facilitated by the St. Kate’s Center for Community Work and Learning (CWL). Mapping Prejudice has spent the last four years mapping racial covenants in Hennepin County and has now turned its attention to Ramsey County. In their collaboration with Mapping Prejudice, the St. Kate’s “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” project focuses on facilitating better understanding of housing segregation and subsequent racial inequalities in Ramsey County through detailed research from a number of disciplinary perspectives, including history, sociology, critical race studies, political science, economics, public health, and data science. The project seeks to learn more about the stories of legal housing segregation in the past in order to better understand our present context and influence better policies in the future.
Racial covenants were legal clauses embedded in property deeds that barred people who were not white from buying or occupying land and homes in specific areas. Although these covenants are now illegal, much of the residential segregation patterns and the structural inequalities that result persist today. Communities of color have known that racial covenants were widespread and continue to contribute to racial disparities, but these issues are frequently overlooked by white members of the community. “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” aims to change that by zeroing in on historic property deeds in the areas around St. Kate’s.
"Humanizing the maps"
“The title comes from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the founders of St. Kate’s, who claim the love of neighbor without distinction as part of their mission,” said St. Kate’s history faculty Rachel Neiwert, PhD, in a March article by the Highland Villager. “The question is, has Ramsey County historically been a place that welcomed the dear neighbor regardless of race, and what are the legacies of that history today?”
The answer, as this collaborative project has helped demonstrate, is abundantly clear: no. These legacies are frequently unacknowledged, following a pattern of de facto rather than de jure discrimination — that is to say, discrimination that is outlawed legally, but still takes place in practice.
“Minneapolis wasn’t particularly segregated when racial covenants were first introduced in 1910; they were preemptively put into place before black people lived in Minneapolis in large numbers,” said Kirsten Delegard, a historian and director of Mapping Prejudice, in a recent piece by Time magazine on George Floyd’s death and the history of racism in the Twin Cities. “You have 2,700 African Americans living in the city in 1910 and [then] 30,000 racial covenants blanketing the city to make sure all this land could never be occupied by people who aren’t white. After they had been in place for 30 years, the city became highly segregated and people who weren’t white were sorted into just a handful of very, very small neighborhoods.”
Mapping Prejudice and St. Catherine University have launched a series of virtual deeds transcription workshops, training community members to help build the Ramsey County digital map and database. Assistantship Mentoring Program student Liz Axberg ’20 investigated housing deeds in the neighborhoods surrounding St. Kate’s, including Highland Park, before the Ramsey County deeds were digitized. In addition to the 38 racial covenants Axberg documented in housing deeds and legislation, St. Kate’s students Franceska Moua ’20, Anastasia Rousseau ’22, and Vee Signorelli ’21 unearthed newspaper articles on housing discrimination in their work with Neiwert, whose research is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. Their research demonstrates the foundations of institutionalized racism in housing and the continued need for the CSJs’ mission of social justice and welcoming the dear neighbor without distinction.
As the “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?” and Mapping Prejudice teams work to “humanize the maps,” as described by Coleman, their findings demonstrate the lived damage these policies have imposed on communities of color. Their mission to clarify how inequities were built in the past, in order to effectively dismantle them, provides vital support for the growing reckoning with structural racism.
Minnesota continues a longstanding trend of being a “net exporter” of undergraduate students — a higher number of Minnesota residents enroll out-of-state than the number of out-of-state residents who enroll at Minnesota institutions.
For fall 2018, 14,862 Minnesota residents enrolled out of state while 8,480 first-time students from other states chose to attend college in Minnesota. The gap between first‐time students leaving Minnesota and coming in from other states has increased 28 percent since 2008.
Among four-year institutions, our member colleges enrolled the most first-time students from out-of-state:
|Minnesota Private Colleges*||2,682|
|University of Minnesota system||2,223|
|Minnesota State 4-year universities||1,493|
Source: IPEDS Residence and Migration data, Fall 2018
*The Minnesota Private College Council’s 17 member institutions
Three 2020 grads are Carleton’s first Paglia Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellows
The pilot program, funded by Cathy James Paglia ’74 and her husband Louis Paglia, will provide two-year R1 research opportunities for three Carleton College STEM graduates.
Gustavus alumni make $2.65 million gift to support the college's counseling center
Gustavus Adolphus College alumni Mark '83 and Terri DeGuisti Henneman '83 are establishing an endowment to support students' mental health needs.
Saint John’s graduate using social media to spread facts over fear
Kurt Schwieters, a 1988 Saint John’s University graduate, started Facebook group dedicated to providing factual information as society deals with COVID-19 pandemic.
Macalester College welcomes new president
On June 1, Dr. Suzanne Rivera became the 17th president of Macalester College, and the community shared well-wishes and hopes for her tenure.
Saint Mary's receives $600,000 gift to assist development efforts
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has received an initial gift of $600,000 from the Anglican Parish of St. Paul to support new initiatives and additional staffing in its Advancement Office.
Fulbright winner teaches inclusion to students here and abroad
Bethel University associate professor of education Katie Bonawitz received a Fulbright grant to teach at Tomsk State University, Russia, on the topic of inclusive comprehensive education for students with disabilities.
Augsburg canceled classes and suspended operations June 4–5 in memory of George Floyd
June 4 was a memorial service for George Floyd. Augsburg University created the space to mourn and come together as a community to build resolve for our future work.
Hamline established the George Floyd Endowed Scholarship
Hamline University has announced the creation of a George Floyd Endowed Scholarship, made possible through the generosity of an anonymous Hamline alumni family.
Member institutions make plans for fall
The Council has updated its COVID-19 page with links to each college's current plans for the fall term.
Exploring our colleges has never been easier
Although in-person visits may be limited this summer, our members are offering a variety of virtual options to help families explore their campuses. Click the link above to learn more.
New Ciresi Walburn Scholars join the Black Men’s Success Initiative
Thanks to the support of the Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children, 16 men from the University of St. Thomas and Augsburg University started the comprehensive leadership program this summer.
Phillips Scholars Program selects new participants
Six students were selected as new Phillips Scholars, a program that involves scholarship support and a student-directed summer community engagement project.
Council and Fund board changes effective July 1
Rebecca Bergman, president of the Gustavus Adolphus College, has been selected as chair of the board of the Minnesota Private College Council and Minnesota Private College Fund. This summer, the Council will welcome three new presidents to the board — Ross Allen at Bethel University, Laurie M. Hamen (interim) at the College of Saint Benedict and Suzanne M. Rivera at Macalester College — along with a new community member, Gregg Peterson of Horton Holding, Inc.
Opportunity engines: Middle-class mobility in higher education
The Brookings Institution, May 19, 2020
There's still time to get a (remote) summer internship
National Public Radio, May 21, 2020
The case for liberal arts education in a time of crisis
The New Republic, May 27, 2020
A Minneapolis civic leader reflects on police brutality, race relations, protesters and looters
Pioneer Press, May 31, 2020
How to normalize the college search process for juniors
The New York Times, June 3, 2020
How student journalists reported on the Twin Cities uprising
Minnesota Monthly, June 9, 2020