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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2008
HACU media contact:
Norma Jean Revilla-García
210.576.3206  
njgarcia@hacu.net

HACU to host 2008 Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C.

April 13-15, 2008

The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU), the only national organization representing Hispanic-Serving Institutions, will hold its 13th Annual Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education on April 13-15, 2008, at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Among the speakers are: Rep. Rubén Hinojosa; Rep. Edolphus Towns; Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balar; Rep. Josephy Crowley, Rep. James Moran; Rep. Ros-Lehtinen; Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor; Jeanne Butterfield of American Immigration Lawyers Association; Meg Goetz of The Alliance in Equity in Higher Education; Luis Maldonado of the Council on Foundations, and President and CEO of American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Sharon P. Robinson.

This year’s theme, "Seeking the American Dream of a Higher Education," focuses on playing an active role in furthering education success for all Hispanics. The troubled state of the economy and state budget cuts make this a critical year for federal support of higher education, particularly of the lesser endowed and underfunded institutions.

“This is our single most important opportunity to present a unified voice for Hispanic higher education in the legislative process,” said President and CEO of HACU, Antonio Flores, Ph.D. College and/or university presidents/CEOs participating in HACU's Capitol Forum will be among the leaders of delegations to meet with select members of Congress to discuss HACU’s legislative and funding requests for Fiscal Year 2009 and beyond.

Capitol Forum highlights include: “Preparing Our Students to Compete in a 21st Century Economy,” which focuses on the importance of better preparing the growing population of Hispanic students for success beyond college. During “The Budget Process and an Appropriations Outlook for FY 2009” session, the President’s FY 2009 budget proposal to cut higher education programs, especially HSI funding, will be discussed along with strategies to reverse these threatened reductions.

Before the congressional visits to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, special sessions will provide a forum for members of Congress and officials from key federal agencies to brief participants on education legislation, education program funding, research, internships, fellowships, infrastructure support, and other funding opportunities. On Sunday evening, several individuals will be honored as “Champions in Congress” at the Capitol Hill Reception.

The U.S. Department of Education will coordinate a free College Cost Reduction and Access Act workshop in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, from 9 am-noon at the Madison Hotel as a post-Capitol Forum event. For Capitol Forum agenda, registration, or other information, please visit www.hacu.net.

About HACU

HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. Today, HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. HACU’s 22nd Annual Conference, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Strengthening the Nation's Prosperity and Opportunity” will be held on October 11-13, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Denver and Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado .

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