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  January 30, 2003

The Honorable George W. Bush
President
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, North West
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

On behalf of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and its more than 340 member institutions that collectively enroll three of every four of the 1.6 million Hispanics in U.S. higher education, I am respectfully asking for your support of a Presidential Executive Order to establish the “President’s Board of Advisors on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).” HACU and the approximately 4.6 million students from all walks of life who attend our member institutions across the nation, including the more than 200 HSIs, would be most grateful to you for this.

Our request is not by any means unprecedented. On February 2, 2002, you signed Executive Order 13256 to update and replace the one signed by your predecessor (Executive Order 12876 of November 1, 1993) to continue the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. You also established Executive Order 13270 on July 3, 2002, to update and replace Executive Order 13021 of October 19, 1996, to renew the President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities. We applaud your commitment to HBCUs and TCUs as sister institutions of HSIs. We also urge you to correct with due expediency the persistent neglect of HSIs by the lack of a comparable presidential Board of Advisors.

You may wish to note that the associations that represent HBCUs and TCUs, the National Association for Educational Opportunity (NAFEO) and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), respectively, have endorsed this recommendation for the creation of the President’s Board of Advisors on HSIs (see enclosed letter). We are deeply thankful for their exemplary solidarity with HACU and its member HSIs.

I would appreciate your feedback on this crucial matter at your earliest convenience. HACU is holding its annual Capitol Forum in late March of this year; we would be honored to join you with NAFEO and AIHEC leaders and college/university presidents from our respective associations in the signing of the proposed Executive Order prior to or during the Capitol Forum.

I would be pleased to address any related question at (210) 576-3214 or at aflores@hacu.net.

Thank you for your consideration of our recommendation.

Most respectfully,

Antonio R. Flores
President & CEO

ARF/nd