September 15, 2017
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
With the rapidly changing demographics of the state of Texas and the nation, institutions of higher education around the country must plan to meet the challenges and opportunities that future student populations will bring. At Texas Tech, that is a reality we plan for every day, and we are proud to have recently met the Hispanic student population threshold for designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). We look forward to the many critical and significant opportunities this designation brings to the university.
The TTU System Board of Regents recognized the obligation of higher education and Texas Tech, in particular, to address a state and national need to provide educational opportunities for a diverse society. Because of the demographics of our state, it was a priority to achieve the status as a HSI. Last year, our Hispanic student population was at 24 percent. This Fall we surpassed the HSI Hispanic student minimum of 25 percent of the overall undergraduate student population. With the attainment of this goal, Texas Tech can now focus on specific research and funding opportunities that will benefit our state, the nation and the world. Aside from the importance of educating this population of students, it is estimated that achieving HSI status could result in as much as $8 million in additional annual funding. It is also worth noting that we will be the 10th Carnegie "Highest Research Activity" institution to achieve this status.
Achievement of HSI status does not mean Texas Tech has diminished its efforts in reaching out to and actively recruiting outstanding students of color and all nationalities. In addition to continuing to recruit Hispanic students, Texas Tech will redouble its efforts to recruit African-American students and other diverse populations of students.
In order to take full advantage of this important status, I have appointed an HSI Committee to: (1) identify current and future grants for which Texas Tech will be eligible for or entitled to, (2) ensure members of the Texas Tech community fully understand the research, funding, and other opportunities that HSI designation brings, and (3) focus on providing support to all students of color and first-generation students so that they can achieve their goal of receiving a quality education.
Achievement of HSI status will benefit all of our students. The efforts aimed at taking advantage of this designation will advance the university and position Texas Tech as a continued leader in higher education, while giving all our students a learning environment that reflects the workforce into which they will graduate.