The concept of a minority tax or cultural taxation in higher education involves the obligation to show good citizenship towards the institution by serving its needs for diverse representation on committees, or to demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to a cultural group, or to mentor students and new colleagues who are similarly diverse. These acts of service, though they may bring accolades to the institution, are not usually rewarded by the institution on whose behalf the service is performed. It has been characterized as a “stealth workload escalator” for faculty and staff of color. In essence, it is a form of “taxation without representation.” A.M. Padilla, 1994, “Ethnic Minority Scholars, Research and Mentoring: Current and Future Issues.” Educational Researcher, 23(4), p. 24-27; C. Canton, 2013, “The cultural taxation of faculty of color in the academy.” California Faculty Magazine, Fall 2013.
This concept is not unique to NTID. It exists throughout RIT and throughout all of higher education. In some ways, the tax is unavoidable until a critical mass of ALANA faculty and staff exists, just as with other members of traditionally underrepresented populations in higher education, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, female, and/or LGBTQIA+.