The President's Council makes important decisions and sets the strategic direction of the College, with input from all staff, faculty and students. The council is comprised of the president, vice presidents, associate vice presidents and the Executive Director of Diversity and Multiculturalism. The group meets monthly.
Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa
Dr. Avelino Mills-Novoa has assumed the role of president of Minneapolis Community and Technical College for a period of two years. Dr. Mills-Novoa is professor emeritus of Community Psychology at St. Cloud State University. He served as assistant dean and director of student services for the General College, as interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and as interim associate vice president in multicultural and academic affairs at the University of Minnesota. He has devoted his career in higher education to working toward educational equity and social justice for multicultural populations, including access and opportunity for persons who are socially and economically underrepresented in higher education; gender equity; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) rights and opportunity; and access and opportunity for people living with disabilities. A first-generation college graduate, he holds a bachelor’s in Latin American studies, and a masters and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Vice President Scott Erickson
Scott Erickson is the vice president of finance and operations at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He came to the College in 2004 and has worked within Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) for most of his professional career. He has worked for the State of Minnesota since 1979. Scott received the MnSCU “Chancellor Award” in 2000 and the MnSCU ”Outstanding Service Award” in 2005. Under his leadership, the business services department received the MnSCU “Excellence in Financial Management” award six years in a row, and the auxiliary services department won the Commuters Choice Awards in 2007 and 2009 and “Outstanding Recognition” from MnSCU in 2011 for a transportation program they initiated at the College. He oversees the auxiliary services, business services, facilities, human resources, informational technology services, parking and public safety departments. Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Gail O'Kane
Gail O’Kane is the vice president and chief academic officer of Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Prior to joining MCTC, Dr. O’Kane served as system director for Education-Industry Partnerships for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system from 2005 to 2011. She went on to serve MCTC as associate vice president for strategy, planning and accountability from 2011 to 2013, and served as interim president of Rochester Community and Technical College from 2013–2014 before returning to MCTC. Dr. O’Kane holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College and a doctorate in neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Associate Vice President Mike Christenson
Mike Christenson is the associate vice president of strategic partnerships at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. This position will create community, employer and philanthropic partnerships that will advance the strategic plan of the College. This function has raised over $700,000 for instructional equipment, established a partnership with Hennepin County lauded in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and led a community-based effort to recruit new students from Minneapolis. He previously served as executive director of the City of Minneapolis’ Community Planning and Economic Development department, as well as the city’s director of economic policy and development. During his tenure at the City of Minneapolis, Christenson worked with the mayor and city council to close the city’s unemployment gap. He also led economic development efforts in North Minneapolis and negotiated development agreements at the Midtown Global Market, Children’s Hospitals, Coloplast, Riverside Plaza and the Cowles Center. He has worked closely with former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak in growing the Minneapolis Promise. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from St. Olaf College and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Executive Director of Diversity and Multiculturalism Whitney Harris
Dr. Whitney Harris has been selected to lead the MCTC equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. Concurrently executive director of diversity and multiculturalism for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, his responsibilities at MCTC include managing the Educational Equity Task Force, developing a menu of diversity training and guiding changes in college policies, practices and culture that support MCTC's goal of achieving educational equity. While assisting the college, he will continue to provide counsel to MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone on issues of diversity and equity. Prior to working with MnSCU, he served as the director of diversity and affirmative action at Eastern Michigan University, held several positions at McNeese State University in Louisiana and worked as instructor, vice principal and principal of College Bonneau in Cameroon.