June 9, 2022

Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities

I am delighted to announce that UCI is a founding member of a new higher education consortium, the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities. The partnership of 20 of the nation’s leading research universities aims to achieve two key goals by 2030 – double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at Alliance universities and increase by 20 percent the Hispanic professoriate in alliance universities.

The process of envisioning such an alliance began four years ago when I started my service as a member of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). A few presidents and chancellors began to note the increasing number of research universities that were achieving HSI status, and we began a discussion of whether research intensive HSIs could play a special role in advancing the interests of Hispanic and Latino students in higher education. Of particular interest was the unique ability of our institutions to expand opportunities in graduate education and create expanded pathways to the professoriate, to ensure that colleges and universities in general would have greater opportunities to recruit Hispanic and Latino faculty across a range of disciplines.

For the past few years I have been proud to be a member of the Steering Committee that has worked to formalize such an alliance. And so it is with special pride and excitement that we are finally able to publicly announce the formation of this alliance.

The 20 universities represent every university that is both categorized as R1 (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. UCI attained HSI status in 2017.

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are now 17 percent of the nation’s workforce, yet they continue to be underrepresented in higher education. Only 6 percent of U.S. doctoral students are Hispanic. As a group, the 20 HSRU Alliance universities, representing nine states, enrolled a total of 766,718 students in the fall of 2020; of those, 33 percent, or 254,399, were Hispanic. In 2020, the combined research spending of these universities totaled more than $5.9 billion.

Prior to today’s announcement of the HSRU Alliance’s formation, the member universities had already begun working together on two initiatives. The first project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, is focused on supporting more Ph.D. students in Latino humanities studies and guiding them to academic careers. A second initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, expands opportunities for Hispanic students in computer science.

UCI and its fellow HSRU Alliance members are committed to making rapid progress in advancing Hispanic student enrollment in doctoral programs and broadening pathways to the professoriate.

You can learn more about the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities at HSRU.org.

Chancellor Howard Gillman