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ASU part of alliance of 20 largest Hispanic-Serving Research Universities formed to increase opportunity

Alliance goals: Double Hispanic doctorates and increase number of Hispanic professors by 20%

View of ASU Charter sign in front of Language and Literature building
June 09, 2022

Twenty of the nation’s top research universities, including Arizona State University, today announced the formation of the Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Research Universities to increase opportunity for those historically underserved by higher education.

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 (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education.

“Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are now 17% 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.”

The HSRU Alliance aims to achieve two key goals by 2030:

  • Double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at alliance universities.
  • Increase by 20% the Hispanic professoriate in alliance universities.

“Enhancing quality learning opportunities and educational attainment is vital to the future health and prosperity of America’s communities,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “As a university dedicated to expanding access and new pathways for talent, ASU is proud to be part of the alliance and the leadership it represents in mobilizing all that R1 and HSIs have to offer in support of Hispanic student success.”

RELATED: ASU named an HSI, a major milestone in commitment to increase diversity of student body

Representing nine states, the 20 alliance universities together enrolled 766,718 students in the fall of 2020; of those, 33% (254,399) were HispanicFederal Department of Education IPEDS data for fall 2020.. In 2020, the combined research spending of these universities totaled more than $5.9 billionNational Science Foundation, Higher Education Research and Development Survey, 2020..

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% (1,451) were Hispanic.

“With Hispanics making up less than 6% of U.S. doctoral students, we must be intentional about creating opportunities for Hispanics,” said Michael Amiridis, outgoing chancellor for the University of Illinois Chicago. “We believe this alliance will make rapid progress in advancing Hispanic student enrollment in doctoral programs and broadening pathways to the professoriate by building on our strength as Hispanic-Serving Research Universities.”

Prior to the formal announcement of the HRSU Alliance, the universities began working together on several initiatives. The first project, funded by a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, will conduct cross-regional research and train doctoral students in Latino humanities. A second initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, expands opportunities for Hispanic students in computer science. 

“ASU will play a critical role in advancing the goals of the HSRU Alliance,” said Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost at ASU. “The successes we have achieved over the past 20 years in the enrollment and graduation rates of students of Hispanic descent serve as a necessary foundation for our ongoing commitment to the Hispanic community and demonstrate our ASU Charter in action. As we look to 2030 and beyond, I ask our Academic Enterprise to work with intention to ensure that our goals for undergraduate and graduate student enrollment, as well as faculty recruitment, retention and promotion, meet or exceed the expectations of the alliance.”

The alliance began during the pandemic through conversations and distance-enabled meetings among presidents and chancellors, as well as faculty and administrators coordinated by the University of Illinois Chicago. The effort took hold and grew into a determination to formalize the relationship announced today.

“By improving Hispanic representation in academia, this alliance will change the face of higher education,” said Kim Wilcox, chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. “We can bring diverse perspectives into the research conducted by our exceptional faculty, creating opportunities for purposeful careers both in and outside of academia for Hispanic students.”

Universities in the alliance:

  • Arizona State University.
  • City University of New York Graduate Center.
  • Florida International University.
  • Texas Tech University.
  • The University of Arizona.
  • The University of California, Irvine.
  • The University of California, Riverside.
  • The University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • The University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • The University of Central Florida.
  • The University of Colorado, Denver.
  • The University of Houston.
  • The University of Illinois Chicago.
  • The University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
  • The University of New Mexico.
  • The University of North Texas.
  • 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.

Learn more about the Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Research Universities at

Top photo: A sign with the ASU Charter sits in front of Durham Hall on ASU's Tempe campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU 

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