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November 6, 2008

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President-Elect of the United States
President Transition Office
Washington, D.C.

Dear President-Elect Obama:

Please accept our most sincere congratulations on being elected the 44th President of the United States. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and our 450 member colleges and universities, that collectively enroll more than two-thirds of all Hispanics in American higher education, wish you a most successful and productive presidency. We look forward to working with you and your administration in addressing the needs of the two million Hispanics in postsecondary education and the 4.5 million students that attend Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other HACU member institutions.

As Hispanics, the fastest-growing and youngest ethnic population in the nation (now numbering over 45 million), are being called to undertake leadership roles in all sectors of society, they need to be prepared with a quality higher education.  The nation’s economic prosperity and well-being will increasingly depend on how well we educate and train the emerging generations of this rapidly increasing population. Currently, more than one of every three new workers in America is Hispanic and by 2025 one of every two new workers will be Hispanic. HACU and our member colleges and universities are committed to working with your administration to ensure that all Americans have a chance to seek a higher education.

HSIs and other HACU member institutions are privileged to have extraordinary leaders who have enhanced the quality and success of these institutions. Many of these presidents/CEOs would bring outstanding expertise to your administration in federal agencies that would benefit from their management and leadership talents. A partial roster of these outstanding CEOs is attached for your consideration.

I respectfully request a meeting with you, members of your transition team, and HACU’s Governing Board to further discuss how we can best assist your administration.



Antonio R. Flores
President and CEO 

cc: HACU Governing Board

Enclosures:      Roster of nominees for cabinet and sub-cabinet positions in President Obama’s administration
                       Demographic and Descriptive Fact Sheet on HSIs and Hispanic Higher Education


President-Elect Barack Obama

HACU Recommendations for Appointment to Federal Agency positions
for Cabinet and Sub-Cabinet Level

Hispanic-Serving Institutions

College and University Presidents and Chancellors 

Federal Agency




Ricardo R. Fernandez 

Lehman College, CUNY, NY

Housing and Urban Development

Dolores Fernandez       

Hostos Community College, CUNY, NY


Michael Ortiz

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA


Max Castillo

University of Houston-Downtown, TX


Miley Gonzalez 

New Mexico State University, NM


Tomas Arciniega   

California State University-Bakersfield, CA


Piedad Robertson


Health & Human Services

Ana Guzman     

Palo Alto College, San Antonio, TX

Health & Human Services

Juliet Garcia           

U of Texas-Brownsville, TX

HHS–Surgeon General

Francisco G. Cigarroa

University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX


Carlos Hernandez

New Jersey City University, NJ


Manuel Pacheco

University of Missouri, MO (retired)


Alfredo de los Santos

Arizona State University, AZ

Health & Human Services

Ciro Sumaya

Texas A&M Health Science Center, TX

November 6, 2008