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Twenty Universities Join Forces to Boost Latinx Graduate Students and Professors

Once upon a time, in the land of academic dreams, a bunch of university presidents huddled together at conventions, pondering an idea: “What if we could do something amazing for Latinx students and professors?”

And lo and behold, their dream has come true! The Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU) is now a reality, made up of 20 founding universities from nine states. These universities are no ordinary bunch; they are R1 research institutions, meaning they rock at producing research like nobody’s business. And guess what? They are also federally recognized as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), with at least 25% Latinx student populations.

So, what’s the big plan? Well, HSRU has not one but two ambitious goals. First, they want to double the number of Hispanic graduate students by 2030. Second, they aim to increase the representation of Latinx professors by a whopping 20% by the same year. Talk about shooting for the stars!

With only around 6% of graduate students being Latinx right now, HSRU knows there’s work to do. And the faculty? Well, two-thirds of them are white, which doesn’t quite reflect the diversity of our world.

But fear not, HSRU is on the case! They’ve already received some hefty grant support to make their dreams come true. Thanks to the Andrew E. Mellon Foundation’s $5 million contribution, a project called “Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions” is underway. This project will support Latinx humanities students and scholars, getting them ready for the world of academia.

Dr. Heather Wilson, president of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), is the chair of HSRU. With UTEP being America’s leading Hispanic-Serving Institution, she’s confident they’ve got some serious talent to offer. UTEP’s student population is almost entirely from a minoritized group, with a whopping 83% identifying as Hispanic. Let’s just say, they’ve got some Latinx magic going on!

And it’s not just about the graduate students; HSRU wants to help undergrads too! They’re cooking up a mentorship program, giving undergrads a chance to dive into research, apply for grad school, and connect with awesome faculty members. It’s like a research summer camp for the brain!

But wait, there’s more! HSRU has big plans to expand as more universities become HSIs and R1. They’re creating a national network of Latinx awesomeness! Texas, in particular, is really jumping on the HSRU bandwagon, with seven schools joining the fun.

All in all, HSRU is here to make a difference. They’re not just talking the talk; they’re walking the walk. And with the future of higher education looking bright, they’re ready to make big moves. So, watch out world, HSRU is coming for ya, and they’re not holding back! Let’s get those Latinx students and professors thriving!

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