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February 27, 2017

HACU senior VP speaks about issues of equity in higher education at Texas Conference

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) senior vice president and chief operating officer John Moder, Ph.D., was a speaker during the Opening Plenary “Issues of Equity in Higher Education” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) held in Austin, Texas on February 27, 2017.   

Moder outlined the challenges of equitable representation of Hispanics in higher education even though they constitute 51 percent of Texas K-12 students.

Advocating for federal funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions, seeking equity for students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) and urging for the passage of the DREAM Act are few examples of how HACU plays a national role on issues of equity. The HACU National Internship Program also partners with federal agencies and corporations to offer college students paid internships in these sectors were Hispanic underrepresentation is prevalent.

Working toward student-centered climates on college campuses is essential, says Moder. Identifying Hispanic students who many need extra help in their studies, as well as those who show potential for graduate education and  keeping these students informed of resources, such as scholarships, internships, and study abroad are ways campuses can help increase Hispanic student success at their campuses.

“A key way to overcome underrepresentation of Hispanics in senior positions is to build networks to get more there: networks both on campus and throughout higher education,” said Moder. He emphasized the importance of promoting increased Latino/a participation in higher education, including in faculty and administrative roles, and urged policy advocacy on state and national levels to address persisting systemic inequities.

Other panelists of the opening plenary “Issues of Equity in Higher Education” included associate vice provost for faculty diversity and professor of economics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Marie Mora, Ph.D., and Texas Association of Community Colleges president and CEO Jacob Freire. The TACHE Conference takes place Feb. 26 - March 1, 2017, under the theme “Creer y Crecer: Inspiring and Building a Stronger Nation through Higher Education.”

The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education is a professional association committed to the improvement of educational and employment opportunities for Chicanos in higher education.