Jeff Johnson: Finalist for SCTCC Dean

Photo cred: Dave Schwarz, St Cloud Times

This post is to let the communities in the City of St. Cloud and surrounding areas know about one of the final candidates for Dean of Trades and Industry at SCTCC (St. Cloud Technical and Community College), whose name is Jeff Johnson. He is the former St. Cloud City Councilman who attempted to stop all refugee resettlement in St. Cloud. 

SCTCC’s decision to include Jeff Johnson to the final candidates concerns the diverse communities in the City of St. Cloud and surrounding areas because Jeff Johnson’s public rhetoric and activities show the opposite of the required qualification for this position to “demonstrate commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

Having a Dean who has negative attitudes toward refugees will inhibit the diverse student body at SCTCC from feeling safe and welcomed at their school, as this position’s requirements include to “oversee the instructional needs of students” and to “represent the college on designated planning committees such as program advisory, Higher Learning Commission, curriculum, policy, institutional effectiveness and assessment.”

Please see SCTCC’s job posting and some examples of Jeff’s public activities below:

SCTCC Dean of Trades and Industry job posting:

Public information outlining some of Jeff’s public history in our community: 

  1. St Cloud Times article (October 17th, 2017):
    • “Jeff Johnson, who represents St. Cloud’s Fourth Ward, submitted a draft resolution this week calling for a moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud.”
    • “The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also launched a petition Tuesday urging the St. Cloud City Council to vote no on the moratorium, which the organization called a “despicable, racist, Islamophobic, and ill-informed motion targeting refugees.” 
    • “’I believe a moratorium violates the U.S. Constitution, particularly the equal protection clause,’ (Mayor) Kleis said, referring to the 14th Amendment. ‘We strive very hard to be a welcoming community. We work very hard to encourage people to come to the community. We should be focusing our efforts on making sure everyone succeeds.
  2. St Cloud Times article (March 17th, 2018):
    • “Jeff Johnson will be part of a panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., discussing whether states should be able to opt out of the federal Refugee Resettlement Program.”
    • “The host of the panel, the Center for Immigration Studies, says its agenda is pro-immigrant but for low immigration. The Southern Poverty Law Center listed it as an anti-immigrant hate group in 2016.” 
      • “In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled (the Center for Immigration Studies) an anti-immigrant hate group, particularly for circulating what it calls ‘white nationalist and anti-Semitic writers’ in its weekly newsletter.”
  3. St Cloud Times article (May 18, 2018):
    • “When City Council member Jeff Johnson crafted a resolution last fall to pause refugee resettlement in St. Cloud, he faced fierce backlash.” 
    • “His resolution was called despicable, racist and ill-informed by an American-Muslim relations organization. A state representative said Johnson’s proposal exposed latent strains of white supremacy and threatened democracy.”
    • “And at Monday’s City Council meeting, he proposed letting citizens vote on a refugee moratorium by putting it on the ballot this fall.” 
      • “’This would be a proposed moratorium on the refugee resettlement similar to the one I did, but what it does allow is city residents to vote on this issue,’ Johnson said at Monday’s meeting.” 
    • “Johnson acknowledged the moratorium would not be binding — immigration policy is set by federally, not municipally — but it would give residents a voice. He said John Palmer, a former professor at St. Cloud State University, plans to collect signatures for a petition to include a referendum on the ballot this fall.”
    • “Johnson announced his plan to propose a moratorium in mid-October and said he would formally introduce the resolution at the Nov. 6 meeting. The meeting prior, on Oct. 23, council member Jeff Goerger introduced a resolution ‘in support of a just and welcoming community’ to refute Johnson’s resolution.” 
    • “The ‘welcoming’ resolution passed with Johnson the only council member in opposition. At the Nov. 6 meeting, Johnson’s resolution calling for the moratorium failed on a 1-6 vote.”
    • “Libert (St Cloud City Council member) said he doesn’t think the majority of people in St. Cloud share Johnson’s beliefs.” 
      • “’Johnson is surrounding himself by a reasonably small group of people — the anti-immigration people — so that’s all he’s listening to,’ Libert said. ‘He’s not listening to the public.’”
  4. YouTube recording of Jeff’s presentation in Washington, D.C. (March 20th, 2018):


About the Author

Natalie Copeland

Natalie grew up in Central Minnesota and received her Music Education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. She taught middle school choir in Georgia and worked in the church sector for over a decade. She now works as Executive Director of Unite Cloud, a non-profit working to reduce racial, religious, and cultural tensions in Central MN and is a trainer with the CARE (Community Anti-Racism Education) Team at SCSU (St Cloud State University). She is also a member oft he St Cloud School District 742 board. In her spare time (haha) she loves to spend time with her 3 children, making music and playing games.