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UT institutions lead national effort to accelerate opportunities for Hispanic students, faculty

UT Arlington, UT Austin, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio join forces with other R1/HSI institutions to form new Alliance

As Texas continues to grow in size and diversity, University of Texas institutions continue to innovate and invest in the future by creating new opportunities and pathways for populations whose talents and contributions are essential to our nation’s vitality and health.

As part of that investment, UT Arlington, UT Austin, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio announced today they are joining forces with 16 other top research institutions in the nation to form the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU).

All 20 members of the new HSRU Alliance are categorized as both R1 (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education. That means they are in the top 5% of universities in America in terms of research, and at least 25% of their undergraduate student bodies are Hispanic.

Unveiled today at a public event in Washington, D.C., the HSRU Alliance – which will be chaired by UTEP President Heather Wilson – has set two key goals to achieve by 2030:

  • Double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at Alliance universities, and
  • Increase by 20% the Hispanic professoriate in Alliance universities

“Texas has the second largest Hispanic population in the nation, and that important demographic is growing rapidly. UT institutions are committed to ensuring that the academic workforce—our graduates at all levels and the future faculty who create and transmit knowledge—reflect the diversity and richness of the state and nation we serve,” said James B. Milliken, chancellor of the University of Texas System. “I applaud the intentional, focused goals of all the Alliance, and I’m grateful to our presidents for their leadership.”

The HSRU Alliance members are already working together on several 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.

Representing nine states, the 20 HSRU Alliance universities together enrolled 766,718 students in the Fall of 2020; of those, 33% (254,399) were Hispanic. In 2020, the combined research spending of these universities totaled more than $5.9 billion. The four UT institutions collectively enrolled more than 152,000 students, of which almost 43% (65,061) were Hispanic. Their combined research spending totals $1.1 billion.

UT presidents lauded the formation of the alliance, noting that the member universities are engaged in thousands of research projects in the arts and humanities, STEM, health sciences, social sciences and other fields with world-changing outcomes.

  • UTEP President and Alliance Chair Heather Wilson: “No group is better positioned than we are to expand the pathway to opportunity and change the face of higher education in America – not just in one discipline, but in all disciplines. We believe we are stronger together than as individual institutions acting alone.”
  • UT Arlington President Jennifer Cowley: “The goals of the HSRU Alliance align with our vision of becoming one of the nation’s most inclusive and impactful research universities. Both UTA and our fellow HSRU Alliance universities are research powerhouses. Together, we have the research and institutional capacity to make an extraordinary difference in Texas and across the nation.”
  • UT Austin President Jay Hartzell: “We are thrilled to partner with leading research universities to expand and empower the next generation of Hispanic doctoral students and professors. As UT Austin strives to increase its global impact, groundbreaking initiatives like the HSRU serve as a national model in forging pathways to bolster opportunity and excellence in higher education for years to come.”
  • UTSA President Taylor Eighmy: “It is a testament to the focus of UT institutions that four are members of the Alliance. We all deeply believe in the impact that education has on addressing inequity. Moreover, we all believe in the power of our discovery enterprises in creating new knowledge that benefits our communities, our state, and our nation. We look forward to working with the Alliance to lead by example and advance equity and discovery.”

In addition to UT Arlington, UT Austin, UTEP and UTSA, universities in the Alliance include:

  • Arizona State University
  • City University of New York Graduate Center
  • Florida International University
  • Texas Tech University
  • The University of Arizona
  • The University of New Mexico
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of North Texas

Learn more about the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities at

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students and an operating budget of $23.4 billion (FY 2022), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 67,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 4 for most U.S. patents granted in 2020, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

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