SAN ANTONIO, TX – October 16, 2014 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) 28th Annual Conference “Championing Hispanic Higher Education: Investing in America’s Future,” held in Denver, Colorado, drew more than 1,500 participants from the U.S., Spain, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Mexico. The gathering, which took place on the first weekend in October, included more than 450 students from national colleges and universities at the Student Track focused on career preparation and development.

“HACU’s Annual Conference continues to offer the Hispanic higher education community an essential forum to gather to share important initiatives, best practices and emerging trends at both Hispanic-Serving Institutions and emerging HSIs”

“HACU’s Annual Conference continues to offer the Hispanic higher education community an essential forum to gather to share important initiatives, best practices and emerging trends at both Hispanic-Serving Institutions and emerging HSIs,” said HACU President and CEO, Antonio R. Flores.

“The increased number of attendees from national and international institutions is a testament to the value of the information shared by the speakers and presenters of the conference. We’re excited about the work done at our member institutions to better serve Hispanic students and already look forward to next year’s gathering.”

The 2014 conference included welcoming remarks by the Honorable Joseph A. Garcia, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, during the Opening Plenary and a State of HACU Address, where Flores noted that, while the percent of Latino adults with college degrees has grown since 2000, attainment of all other groups has grown faster. Flores said that as a consequence, the gap in educational attainment between Hispanics and other racial/ethnic groups has grown larger. Because Hispanics are becoming an increasingly larger portion of the American workforce, addressing this educational gap must be a national priority.

The general conference featured 54 workshops under six tracks and an Exhibit Hall of 97 exhibitors. Plenaries included a Town Hall Meeting “Higher education rankings and ratings: do they measure up?” with audience participation. The discussion focused on the impact the ratings systems would have on HSIs when the administrations proposed draft is set to be in place by the 2015 academic year. The International Plenary, “New opportunities for international exchanges under the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Partnership,” focused on the Partnership and the FOBESII initiative with Mexico.

HACU presented its President’s Awards of Excellence and two honorees were formally inducted into HACU’s Hall of Champions.

The Association also elected its new chair and confirmed four other officers and two new members to its governing board, including:

— Chair – Tomás D. Morales, Ph.D., president of California State University, San Bernardino

— Vice chair – Rita Cepeda, Ed.D., chancellor of San José/Evergreen Community College District

— Secretary – William V. Flores, Ph.D., president of University of Houston, Downtown

— Treasurer – Rev. Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale, president of St. Thomas University

— Past chair – Jorge Ivan Vélez-Arocho, Ph.D., president of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico

— New board member – Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., president of California State University, Fresno

— New board member – Mike Flores, Ph.D., president of Palo Alto College

2015 HACU Annual Conference

HACU’s 29th Annual Conference, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Empowering Students, Enhancing Collaboration,” will take place Oct. 10-12, 2015, in Miami Beach, Fla. The Call for Presentations deadline is March 2, 2015. Students nationwide have until June 26, 2015 to apply for a Student Scholarship. Early bird registration rates will be available through May 31, 2015. Information is available at www.hacu.net.

The HACU Annual Conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of its partners and sponsors.

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. Information is available at www.hacu.net.