SAN ANTONIO, TX – September 11, 2014 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) will host the Town Hall “Higher Education Rankings and Ratings: Do they measure up?” as part of HACU’s 28th Annual Conference, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Investing in America’s Future,” Oct. 4-6, 2014. The Town Hall will take place on Monday, Oct.6, 3:30-5:00 p.m., at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Colorado.

President Obama’s higher education plan has called for the U.S. Department of Education to develop a college performance rating system on key measures of opportunity and completion to account for institutional resources and student preparedness in measuring college and university “success.” Critics are skeptical that adequate data exists or would be included to assure the ranking/rating system measures the true “value added” by the institution.

Panelists of the Town Hall will offer insights on this issue of particular importance to the Hispanic higher education community. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session.

HACU Town Hall panel will include:

Moderator: Michael V. Martin, Ph.D.
, Chancellor of the Colorado State University System University System, an academic leader dedicated to the land-grant mission of teaching, research, and extension service. He is recognized as a strong voice for education, an active scholar, and author of numerous book chapters and articles for academic journals, trade publications, and the popular press.

Panel member: Lorelle L. Espinosa, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Policy Research and Strategy, ACE (co-author of ACE Issue Brief, “Rankings, Institutional Behavior and College and University Choice: Framing the National Dialogue on Obama’s Ratings Plan,” March 2014).

Panel member: Richard R. Rush, Ph.D.
, President, California State University, Channel Islands, a higher education leader and thought leader promoting community engagement and innovation. He is an advocate for key policy reform to improve educational access, academic preparation and student success for students across the Nation.

Panel member: The Honorable Jamienne Studley
, Deputy Under Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education. Her focus at the Department is on higher education issues including quality, access, accountability, completion and student information. She served as deputy and acting general counsel of the Department in the Clinton Administration from 1993-99. She is a former president of Skidmore College.

Additional information, conference agenda, and registration information are available online at Online registration will be available until September 12. Onsite registration will be available.

The HACU conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of its 28th Annual Conference Sponsors.

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. For more information, visit

Editors: Registrations are accepted for media on assignment to cover the conference. Click here to submit a media pass request.