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Department of Interior and HACU Renew Partnership
to Enhance Hispanic Education and Employment

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on March 28, 2007, that will renew and strengthen mutual efforts to promote educational and career opportunities for Hispanic students.

The DOI-HACU partnership program will be directed toward promoting career opportunities, professional development, research and other opportunities for students, faculty and staff at Hispanic Serving Institutions, as well as programs, contracting and other opportunities to help build the capacity of HACU member institutions.  

To access a PDF of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), click here

"HACU is committed to the objectives of the MOU, and to increasing federal support for HACU members and their learning communities," said HACU President Antonio Flores. Objectives include:

        - increasing the number of HACU member institutions successfully competing for contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to conduct DOI research, technical assistance, and development activities;

        - increasing the knowledge base of the DOI about Hispanic-serving institutions and vice-versa;

        - increasing the number of students and faculty from HACU member institutions benefiting from education, training, employment, and contracting opportunities at the DOI;

        - increasing excess DOI property acquisition opportunities for HACU member institutions; and

        - supporting DOI participation in HACU sponsored programs, student internships, conferences, technical assistance, research studies, etc.

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne was among the dignitaries on hand for the signing. "When I became Secretary, I was surprised by the under-representation of Hispanics in the Interior workforce," Kempthorne told the members of the HACU delegation.  "I am hopeful that through this Memorandum of Understanding and with your help more Hispanics will look to the Department of the Interior as an employer of choice."

HACU's Senior Vice President/COO John Moder co-signed the MOU and stated the association's aims and support for its implementation. Gumecindo Salas, HACU's Vice President for Government Relations, and other HACU officials were also present at the signing ceremony.

Secretary Kempthorne commended Commissioner Robert Johnson and Bureau of Reclamation employees for heading the HACU partnership renewal effort and encouraged all Interior bureaus and offices to follow their lead.   

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HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.