University of California Irvine: UCI is founding member of Hispanic Serving Research Universities alliance

The University of California, Irvine is a founding member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, a foundation of 20 of the nation’s top research universities which are partnering to increase opportunity for those historically underserved by higher education.

The HSRU Alliance aims to achieve two key goals by 2030: Double the number of enrolled Hispanic doctoral students and increase by 20 percent the Hispanic professoriate in alliance universities.

The 20 universities represent every university that has been both categorized as R1 (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. UCI attained HSI status in 2017. At the time, UCI became only the second member of the prestigious Association of American Universities – which includes the country’s leading research institutions – to have HSI status.

“After years of working on its creation, I am thrilled that we can now announce this important alliance,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are all committed to using the distinctive characteristics of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities to make rapid progress in advancing Hispanic student enrollment in doctoral programs and broadening pathways to the professoriate.”

UCI has been committed to increasing the numbers of Latino graduate students and faculty. Over the past 10 years, the campus has nearly doubled its Latino Ph.D. students (217 to 416) and faculty (108 to 182). As of 2021, 7 percent of the faculty and 13 percent of Ph.D. students are Latino.

HRSU impact
Representing nine states, the 20 HSRU Alliance universities together enrolled 766,718 students in the fall of 2020; of those, 33 percent (254,399) were Hispanic. In 2020, the combined research spending of these universities totaled more than $5.9 billion.

The alliance universities are engaged in thousands of research projects in the arts and humanities, STEM, health sciences, social sciences and other fields with world-changing outcomes. In 2019-20, alliance universities produced 11,027 doctoral graduates, of which 13 percent (1,451) were Hispanic.

Prior to the formal announcement today of the HRSU Alliance, the universities began working together on several initiatives. The first project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, is focused on supporting more Ph.D. students in Latino humanities studies and guiding them to academic careers. A second initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, expands opportunities for Hispanic students in computer science.

The alliance began during the pandemic through conversations and distance-enabled meetings among presidents and chancellors. The effort took hold and grew into a determination to formalize the relationship announced today.

Universities in the alliance also include:

Arizona State University
City University of New York Graduate Center
Florida International University
Texas Tech University
The University of Arizona
The University of New Mexico
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at San Antonio
University of California, Riverside
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Colorado, Denver
University of Houston
University of Illinois Chicago
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of North Texas
“Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are now 17 percent of the workforce, yet they continue to be underrepresented in higher education. No group is better positioned than we are to expand the pathway to opportunity,” said Heather Wilson, president of The University of Texas at El Paso and chair of the alliance. “We believe we are stronger together than as individual institutions acting alone.”