The 22-person delegation, representing nearly all of the member institutions, met on Sept. 15, with representatives with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House Domestic Policy Council, and the Office of Public Engagement.
“Like the White House, the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities is centering equity in its work,” said Dr. Heather Wilson, President of The University of Texas at El Paso and Chair of the Alliance. “By diversifying the professoriate and increasing educational opportunity, we are creating a more just society, strengthening our country’s leadership in learning, research, and innovation.”
The Alliance, announced in June 2022
, includes all 21 universities that have been 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.
Spanning nine states, Alliance universities together enrolled 837,136 students in fall 2020; of those, 32% were Hispanic. In 2020, the combined research spending of these universities totaled more than $7.105 billion, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
By 2030, the HSRU Alliance aims to achieve two key goals:
• Double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at Alliance universities, and
• Increase by 20% the Hispanic professoriate in Alliance universities.
UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive facilitated the discussion with Alondra Nelson, acting director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, about how the Alliance could support the White House’s investment in research, education and health outcomes.
With a mission to maximize the benefits of science and technology to advance health, prosperity, security, environmental quality, and justice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy provides guidance to the president and federal agencies.
The Alliance went on to meet with Joanna Mikulski, Senior Policy Advisor for Labor & Higher Education, Jessica Schubel, Director of Affordable Care Act and Health Care, and Shelby Gullion, Policy Analyst, Education & Care, all staffers with the Domestic Policy Council.
Led by Ambassador Susan Rice, the council drives the development and implementation of President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda in the White House and across the federal government, ensuring that domestic policy decisions and programs are consistent with the president’s goals. The council is working to bring greater dignity, equity, opportunity, and prosperity to the everyday lives of Americans, according to the White House.
The delegates described the unique leadership the Alliance provides by attracting and retaining Hispanic and Latino students who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees and how this is building a talented, educated, and creative workforce that will benefit all sectors of the U.S. economy.
Additionally, the Alliance has expertise and insights in health care. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected the Hispanic population, and as the White House seeks to improve the nation’s health, the Alliance has data, expertise and community partnerships that can help address health disparities at scale.
With Nathaly Arriola Maurice, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Partnerships with the Office of Public Engagement, Alliance members focused on exploring ways that the Alliance could partner with the White House as it seeks to increase opportunities for students to pursue a higher education.
The day ended on the steps of the Capitol and a meeting with Representative Frederica Wilson (FL), chairwoman of the House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee and longtime champion of Minority Serving Institutions.
Earlier in the day, the delegation attended a conversation among higher education leaders that focused on how research universities can both support student success and create new knowledge. The event, “Balancing Student Success and Research Achievement,” was organized by the Chronicle of Higher Education
with support from Florida International University.