TAMIU Ranks High oon Hispanic Report Card 2004

TAMIU Ranks High on Hispanic Report Card

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is among the state's top four-year institutions according to the Hispanic Report Card released last week.

The Report Card, produced by Ed C. Apodaca, associate vice president for enrollment management at the University of Houston, is based on information obtained from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and is intended to focus attention on what Apodaca considers a "serious under-representation of Hispanics which exists at all levels of higher education." It also seeks to gauge the State's success at meeting its goals of significantly increasing higher education enrollment by Hispanics and African Americans by 2015 through its "Closing the Gaps" initiative.

Using THECB 2001-2002 data, Apodaca ranked the state's 35 public universities, noting percentages of Hispanic tenured faculty, administrators, students enrolled and degrees awarded. Community colleges and technical colleges were also reviewed.

TAMIU was ranked fifth among the state's four-year institutions, earning a "B" rating. Among those institutions in the top five were the University of Texas-Pan American, UT-Brownsville, UT-El Paso, and UT-San Antonio. TAMIU was the highest ranked of Texas A&M University System campuses in Apodaca's annual ranking.

University president Dr. Ray Keck said the ranking attests to the University continuing to fulfill its service mission, but its intent to go further still.

"This University was put here to address an historic shortcoming in higher education for the people of South Texas and we are clearly succeeding in providing the access to higher education for Hispanics that had long been denied. In addition, we are also delivering on our charge to be Texas' international university, by attracting students from around the world to live, learn and study in a culture of commerce and diversity. We've exceeded our State target enrollments since "Closing the Gaps" began, posting total undergraduate and graduate enrollments of 3,372 in the Fall of 2001; 3,724 in Fall 2002 and 4,078 in Fall 2003, These represent enrollment growth of 10-12% annually," Dr. Keck noted.

He noted that in addition to the number of Hispanics serving the University as faculty, administrators or enrolling for classes, the University is also providing relevant programming that is attracting new students.

"The most recent example of this is our success in securing the state's first Hispanic Studies Ph.D. which will be offered in a collaborative with other Texas A&M University System campuses. This attests to our continued commitment to our service community and our pledge to be the regional university of choice for South Texas. In addition, we'll soon be moving forward with our initiation of our first Ph.D. in International Business, again underscoring our status as an international university," he noted.

The Hispanic Report Card shows that TAMIU's faculty is 29.6% Hispanic, well above the state average of 5 percent statewide. Fifty percent of TAMIU administrators are Hispanic while 89% of students enrolled, according to 2001-2002 data, are Hispanic. Of 551 graduates in the survey year, 83.3% were Hispanic. All TAMIU percentages are the highest in the Texas A&M University System and many top those of the University of Texas system.

Apodaca maintains that although advances that have been made with efforts such as "Closing the Gaps," for academic year 2001, Hispanics only received 10,843 or 18.7% of bachelors degrees awarded by Texas four-year institutions, 2,109 (11.6%) of master's and 101 (4.8%) of doctoral degrees statewide.

Statistical data used in preparing the Hispanic Report Card is available at www.thecb.state.tx.us

For additional information, contact the University's Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail pais@tamiu.edu, visit offices in Killam Library 268 or click on www.tamiu.edu

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu