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New leadership council to advance vision as a Hispanic Thriving Institution

New leadership council to advance vision as a Hispanic Thriving Institution

APRIL 21, 2021 — UTSA announced today it will establish a new, institutional-level Hispanic Thriving Institution Leadership Council comprised of faculty, staff and students to guide the university’s work in becoming a Hispanic Thriving Institution. The council’s efforts will further advance the university’s strategic plan, A Vision for UTSA, which outlines a pathway to transform the institution into a model for student success, a great public research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence.

The Hispanic Serving Institution designation was established by the federal government to identify institutions of higher education where at least 25% of the undergraduate student population is Latino; UTSA was one of the first U.S. universities to receive the designation when it was introduced by the Department of Education in 1994. At UTSA, 57% of students identify as Latino or Hispanic.


“At UTSA, we embrace our Hispanic-serving identity in everything we do.”



To best serve this student population, UTSA aspires to become a Hispanic Thriving Institution—a model HSI that provides the highest quality education to advance social mobility and economic opportunities for Latino students and their communities.

Today’s announcement comes on the same day as the national release of “25 Years of HSIs,” a study conducted by Excelencia in Education and funded in part by UTSA that provides analyses informing educational policy makers, academic researchers, elected officials and foundations about how best to serve Latino students in higher education.

“At UTSA, we embrace our Hispanic-serving identity in everything we do—from honoring our founding history and bolstering student success to fostering excellence in faculty research and partnering with our communities,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “UTSA’s commitment to become a Hispanic Thriving Institution sets us apart from other public universities and positions us well as a model for how institutions in Texas and the U.S. can close the gaps in higher education to drive a bold future.”

The HTI Leadership Council will advise the president and provost/senior vice president for academic affairs about how the university’s Hispanic Thriving efforts can be incorporated more deeply across its mission, three strategic destinations and strategic plan. Focus areas will include advancing Latino enrollment, retention, transfer in, degree completion, financial support and the diversity of the university’s administration, faculty, staff and students.

UTSA is a recipient of the Seal of Excelencia, a comprehensive certification recognizing the university’s commitment and ability to intentionally accelerate Latino student success. The Seal of Excelencia’s framework, formed around data, practice and leadership, will guide UTSA’s new HTI Leadership Council in implementing and advancing evidence-based strategies that promote Latino student success, in turn raising standards of excellence across the university for all students.

UTSA was founded in 1969 to serve San Antonio’s culturally rich, predominantly Mexican American population. The university is delivering on its mission by embracing its founding identity, purposefully supporting its majority Hispanic student population and hiring historically underrepresented faculty, staff and leaders who reflect the Latino-majority community it serves, a demographic that is expected to become more prevalent across the nation in the coming decades.

“In many ways, UTSA is the research university of the future, set in the city of the future, and it has the responsibility and the capacity to lead in this space,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “This important work is critical to producing Latino thought leaders who can propel San Antonio’s 21st century economy forward and advance social mobility and economic opportunity in our communities.”

The HTI Leadership Council will report to the president and be led and supported by the provost. Membership will be established this summer and meetings will begin in the fall.

Christi Fish



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.