New alliance creating opportunities for Hispanic students, teachers at TTU

Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:05 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Hispanic Serving Research Universities Alliance is working to create new opportunities for Hispanic students across the country, including here at Texas Tech.

Texas Tech is one of only 20 institutions in the country that are part of the new alliance. TTU has been part of the effort for the past two years.

Initially, 16 schools were expected to join, but at its official announcement in Washington D.C., 20 schools were part of the new initiative.

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec says that strength in numbers will make the alliance successful.

“I think we’re able to more confidently suggest what we can achieve by working together than individually,” Schovanec said.

Two long-term goals of this alliance are to double the number of Hispanic doctoral students and to increase the number of Hispanic professors by 20 percent by 2030.

“One way we can do that is through partnership among these schools providing post doctoral positions or offers of employment to the partner institutions,” Schovanec said.

President Schovanec says those number are shockingly low right now.

“Only six percent of the doctoral students in the U.S. are Hispanic,” Schovanec said. “That’s a startling statistic.”

Increasing those numbers will allow students to better relate to their instructors.

“It’s important, I think, to have role models at a university. All students need that,” Schovanec said. “We don’t have role models I think that many students from underrepresented groups identify with.”

He says that’s an important part of higher education.

“There is something special, I think, when they can see somebody like them in front of the classroom,” Schovanec said.

President Schovanec says all students will benefit from the resources of this alliance.

“When you have access to those resources as a Hispanic-serving institution, those resources benefit the entire student population,” Schovanec said.

Twenty universities are currently part of the HSRU alliance, but that number is expected to rise.

“We know the membership will grow,” Schovanec said. “As the membership grows, as we continue to engage with our congressional delegations, I think the impact of the alliance will only increase.”

University members of the alliance represent nine states and accounted for more than 760,000 students in the fall of 2020.

Nearly 35 percent of those students were Hispanic.

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