In recognition of its commitment to diversity, West Virginia University has joined the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a partner institution.
HACU, established in 1986, represents more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. WVU joins with such institutions as Baylor University, University of Kansas, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, University of New Mexico, Michigan State, University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin.
HACU’s mission is to champion Hispanic success in higher education by improving access to and the quality of post-secondary education opportunities for Hispanic students. It also seeks to meet the needs of business, industry and government through developing and sharing resources, information and expertise.
“Joining HACU reflects both WVU’s commitment to diversity and our engagement at the national and international levels,” President Jim Clements said. “From student recruitment to global partnerships, HACU will be a valuable resource as we implement our strategic plan and fulfill our land-grant mission.”
While Hispanic students currently make up only 3 percent of the University’s overall main campus enrollment of 29,707, the population is one of the fastest growing segments, accounting for a third of WVU’s 6 percent growth in minority enrollment this academic year.
“The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is proud to welcome West Virginia University as the first in its state to join our association,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “The University joins a growing number of other institutions of higher education in that region that recognize the emerging demographic of Hispanic college students throughout the nation.”
WVU’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future sets out as one of five main goals to “foster diversity and an inclusive culture.” Among the objectives to reach that goal is to “become a model institution for the attraction and inclusion of diverse groups.”
David Fryson, WVU’s chief diversity officer, said by joining HACU, WVU was signaling its continuing commitment to expand and strengthen the diversity of both its student body and the educational experience it provides.
“We live in a diverse world and our graduates need a diverse learning environment that will prepare them to succeed,” Fryson said. “WVU continues to expand all of its efforts to model how to achieve that success, whether it comes from a diverse classroom or from the other diversity experiences we provide on campus.”
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