Dunwoody College of Technology

Dunwoody College of Technology
Dunwoody College of Technology
Established 1914
Type Private, Vocational College
President Rich Wagner, Ph.D.
Location Minneapolis, MN, USA
44°58′21.64″N 93°17′25.22″W / 44.9726778°N 93.2903389°W / 44.9726778; -93.2903389
Campus Urban, 15 acres (6.1 ha)
Dunwoody College
Carlson Commons

Dunwoody College of Technology is a private, non-profit vocational college in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In addition to associate 2-year college programs Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Dunwoody also offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management for students with an associate degree.

Dunwoody offers programs and courses in Drafting and Estimating, Interior Design, Computer Networking, Programming, Electrical, Automotive Mechanics, Heating / Air Conditioning Systems Design, Food Science Technology, Electronics, Automated Systems and Robotics, Machine Tooling, Industrial Controls, Land Surveying, Construction Management, Graphic Design, Appliance Service and Printing,and Welding.

Dunwoody Institute was founded in 1914, when Minneapolis businessman William Hood Dunwoody left three million dollars in his will to "provide for all time a place where youth without distinction on account of race, color or religious prejudice, may learn the useful trades and crafts, and thereby fit themselves for the better performance of life's duties."[1] When his widow, Kate L. Dunwoody, died a year later she left additional funds to keep the college moving forward.

In the spring of 1916, the Dunwoody Trustees purchased six city blocks, 3 long and 2 deep, facing the parade grounds. The Minneapolis City Council closed the streets and alleys that traversed the area creating a site of approximately sixteen acres (6.5 ha). Hewitt and Brown Architects and Engineers were contracted to design a school building. Their draft included nine buildings which were composed of six shop buildings and a three-story administration facility with an auditorium on one side and a gymnasium building on the other.

Three years from the school’s inception, the first two buildings were opened in August 1917 and have remained throughout the century. In issues of the Artisan from this period, the Minneapolis Public Library had one of its branches on the campus offering its services the campus’s students. Located across from the Walker Institute of Arts, the Guthrie Theater, St. Mary’s Basilica and Loring Park, just west of downtown, the new facility was dedicated on October 31, 1917 and the space at the Minneapolis Central High School facility was left empty. Dr. Marion L. Burton, president of the University of Minnesota, gave the address. Dr. Prosser’s commencement address in May 1918 contrasted the new facility with the old one used in cooperation with the Minneapolis school district, “Roughly four years ago we were quartered in an old, tumble-down building that, with the kindness of the board of education, served us well in time of need.” [2]

When the University of Minnesota perceived its need for preparing instructors to teach in this new emerging area of vocational education, they began to look for partnerships. On April 22, 1920, Fred Snyder, President of the University of Minnesota, entered into a cooperative agreement with William Hood Dunwoody Institute allowing students who were enrolled at the University in teacher training courses to spend a portion of their class time at the institute to receive experiences related to observations and practice of all types of trade and industrial education. The reciprocity of this agreement allowed Dunwoody instructors to enroll and receive credit for any courses offered by the College of Education at the University that were a part of the teacher training authorized by the Smith Hughes Act. These matriculations were considered scholarships and did not encumber the University or the Institute in monetary exchanges, only the awarding of credits. There were no other recognizable post-secondary technical institutes or colleges at this time in the state of Minnesota.

In 1953, the era of the international perspective of Dunwoody Industrial Institute became manifest when Dunwoody was provided a grant by the Ford Foundation for the purpose of sending representatives to consult with the Indonesian Ministry of Education. Under the leadership of Dunwoody Industrial Institute’s second Director J. R. Kingman, an Indonesian Technical Teacher Training Institute was to be established in Ban dung, Java. An American, Dr. Milton G Towner was the advisor and director for the center. He was on leave as director of the Staff College of the Federal Civil Defense Administration in Washington, DC. Six American teachers from Dunwoody were sent with Dr. Towner to work with indigenous Indonesians in making training available to prospective and interested teachers in the Indonesian technical school system. Seven Indonesian teachers were sent to Dunwoody for training so they could return and support the efforts being directed by Dr. Towner. On November 27, 1953, Dr. K. Nagaraja Rao, a graduate of the University of Mysore, India, became the head of Dunwoody Industrial Institute’s new International Services Division. He was a native of India who taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Korean Technical Institute, where he opened a department of chemical engineering. His job was to be the liaison between the Indonesia project and the Ford Foundation. Since 1951, he had been a consultant to the Government of Indonesia for the development of indigenous industries.

Mr. Phillip S. Van Wyck became the senior advisor of the Government Technical Institute in Insein, Burma. The development and operation of this government Technical Institute was funded by the Ford Foundation and assisted with staffing from Dunwoody. In 1956, Dunwoody Industrial Institute began its third technical assistance program in the Union of Burma, establishing the first technical high school in Rangoon. In a government-sponsored building, four Dunwoody employees assisted the local Burmese in developing shops, curriculum and demonstration materials. Burmese instructors were delivered the curriculum. The Annual Report of the Ford Foundation noted Dunwoody Institute’s efforts at Insein and Rangoon. It also it noted that a second Teacher’s Institute was started in Djakarta.

The Central Training Institute in Bombay India was opened in March 1963 with the assistance of a five-member team from Dunwoody, the Indian Government and the US Department of Education. In the Dunwoody News March 29, 1963 issue, a facsimile of the formal invitation indicating that Prime Minister Nehru of India would be addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Institute is found. That year another project began in Khartoum, Sudan, to establish the Khartoum Senior Trade school which opened in December 1964. Dr. Rao left Dunwoody Industrial Institute in 1965 to become a program officer for the Ford Foundation in the foundation’s Latin American program after a twelve-year tenure at the institute. Robert R. Minarik, a graduate of the Dunwoody electronics program and the University of Minnesota, replaced Rao, bringing his experience overseas from Burma and Saudi Arabia.

In 1967 Dunwoody began overseas programs with funding from private industries rather than foundations or United States Government sponsorship. The first initiative was with the Alumina Partners of Jamaica known as ALPART. Contracting directly with Dunwoody Institute, they desired the institute to organize and implement a training school for construction and maintenance workers. This ALPART Training Center for Industrial Skills was to serve the ALPART aluminum plant in Nain in South Central Jamaica. A senior team of Dunwoody employees would begin to train and set in place Jamaican personnel as trainers. Time-release training aimed at select job targets were dovetailed with on- the-job training and specific customized training manuals. This partnership came to a successful conclusion in the fall of 1972. During this time, a nine-member Dunwoody team worked with Esso Standard Libya Inc at the Marsa el Brega terminal in Libya. This refinery and production complex provided an opportunity for developing curriculum for and also operating ESSO’s Industrial Training Center. Further east in Saudi Arabia, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) began a long-term training relationship that lasted into the 80’s. New hardware and software for basic and mid-level electric and electronic training at the Ras Tanura Industrial Training shops were targeted. The curriculum developed here was transferable to two other sites: one in Dhahran and the other in Abqaiq. Freeport Indonesia Inc hired a Dunwoody team to help in their copper mining project in Irian Jaya. The objective here was to assist in the training of the indigenous Indonesian work force as electrical, mechanical, and mobile machinery operators at the town site of Tembaga Pura. These mining facilities were remote, the Indonesians were from jungle tribes, and the size of the enterprise larger than Dunwoody Institute had ever attempted before.

In 2000, Dr. Jane Plihal, associate professor and chair of the Department of Work, Community and Family Education at the College of Education and Human Development reevaluated the 1920 “Cooperative Agreement Between Dunwoody Industrial Institute and the University of Minnesota.” She proposed a termination of the agreement. Plihal perceived the University’s perception of the agreement as anachronistic and no longer expressive of the ways in which the two institutions had been cooperating or could cooperate at the end of the century. A notice of termination for this agreement, signed on December 28, 2000 by Robert H Bruininks, Executive Vice President and Provost, voided the reciprocity agreement between the two institutions at the end of summer session 2001.[3]

In 2003, Dunwoody Institute merged with NEI College of Technology of Columbia Heights, Minnesota, which specialized in electronics and computer technology. NEI's operations were moved to the Dunwoody campus and the old campus was sold and demolished. The combined institution was renamed Dunwoody College of Technology.

In 2004, the college took decisive steps to diversify a student body that had long been almost exclusively white and male, hiring a director of diversity and increasing the percentage of students of color to 20%.[4]

In 2007, the college sponsored a new charter high school in North Minneapolis, Dunwoody Academy.


  1. ^ History, Dunwoody College of Technology, Accessed Feb. 5, 2007.
  2. ^ E. H. Hewitt, “Physical Aspects of the New Dunwoody,” The Artisan 2/2 ( November, 1916): 1-8.
  3. ^ R. H. Bruininks letter addressed to Frank Starke, president of Dunwoody College December 28, 2000. Bruininks expressed the uniqueness of the agreement has been dated because of the emergence of the AVTI’s and technical college system in the second half of the 20th century. These numbers of public institutions provide an inequity for the continuation of the agreement.
  4. ^ Art Hughes, Tech college sees future of Minnesota work force in minority students, Minnesota Public Radio, January 31, 2007.

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