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HACU and Defense Department create partnership
to expand Hispanic employment, research opportunities

ANAHEIM, California – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) joined the U.S. Department of Defense in a new partnership to expand employment and research funding opportunities for the Hispanic higher education community.

The leadership of HACU and the Department of Defense (DoD) signed a Collaborative Partnership Agreement during special ceremonies immediately before the start of HACU’s 17th Annual Conference October 18-21 in Anaheim, California.

“This formal document will open new doors to rewarding careers and important scientific research opportunities for our Hispanic higher education students and faculty in support of our country’s strategic defense and research needs,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

“I applaud the U.S. Department of Defense for its commitment to diversity in support of a population that has such an outstanding history of heroism in peacetime and in war in service to our great nation,” Flores said.

Flores joined Charles Abell, the DoD Principal Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, at the signing ceremony before an audience of high ranking DoD officers, decorated Hispanic war veterans and university presidents from throughout the country.

HACU represents more than 350 colleges and universities which collectively serve every major U.S. Hispanic population center and more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students.

As part of the new partnership, a HACU/DoD Project Partnership Task Force composed of senior DoD officials and HACU member college presidents was formed. HACU members of the new task force are:

Donald Averill, Chancellor, San Bernardino Community College District, California;
Dolores Fernandez, President, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, City University of New York;
Christine Johnson, President, Community College of Denver, Colorado;
Jose Mendez, President, Ana G. Mendez University System, Puerto Rico.
Ricardo Romo, President, University of Texas at San Antonio;

The task force will identify student and faculty employment opportunities, explore mutually beneficial research and grant funding possibilities, and identify opportunities and resources to convene national study groups to explore specific issues of interest to the DoD and HACU. The task force also will conduct evaluations to ensure the partnership is producing measurable results.

The partnership was created to encourage students from HSIs to pursue military or civilian careers in mathematics, science, administration, business and security – fields in which Hispanics remain underrepresented compared to other major population groups.

The DoD will establish community outreach initiatives to encourage high school students to pursue college degrees and careers in those fields, and assign staff to HSIs to assist in developing curricula and other initiatives in support of ultimately increasing the ranks of Hispanics in science, business, administration and technology fields.

The formal objectives of the new partnership agreement are: to develop programs and coordinate activities to enhance the capacity of HACU to support DoD objectives and initiatives; to increase HSI response to and participation in DoD awards and grant opportunities in research, development and technical assistance; and to increase employment opportunities within the DoD for students, faculty and graduate of HACU member institutions.

For more information, contact HACU Public Affairs at (619) 997-1637. Or visit www.hacu.net.