Raquel Aldana, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity
Raquel Aldana, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity

Originally posted in University News on September 11, 2018.

Chancellor Gary S. May recently added Raquel Aldana, associate vice chancellor for Academic Diversity, as co-chair of the task force he established to coordinate UC Davis’ planning to become a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, or HSI.

Aldana joins Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor and interim lead of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in leading the effort to submit the university’s HSI application in the spring.

“Given the significant work involved in our HSI planning efforts, the addition of Raquel to co-chair the task force will be beneficial to all involved in this critical undertaking,” May said in a letter announcing her appointment.

The task force is due to deliver its recommendations by Feb. 1 on UC Davis’ HSI vision, goals and metrics, May said. “I look forward to reviewing the task force’s recommendations on how UC Davis can become a premier research and land-grant HSI institution,” he said.

A university must meet two criteria before applying to become an HSI: First, economically disadvantaged students must make up a substantial percentage of a university’s population, and the university must not exceed the national average per-student expenditure. UC Davis achieved that eligibility earlier this year.

Then, a quarter of domestic, full-time students must be of Hispanic heritage — and the institution must maintain those demographics for one full year. UC Davis will meet that goal this fall, and will then be able to submit its HSI application. The HSI grant, from the U.S. Department of Education, can be used to expand student programs and aid.

UC Davis would be the ninth HSI university that is also classified R1, the highest level of research university under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Five of those R1 institutions are part of the University of California system.

Outreach to Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students has ramped up at UC Davis over the last decade, with new programs like a series of student success centers, an initiative to help first-generation students make the transition to college, and the annual Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, which connects junior high, high school and community college students, as well as parents, with professional role models who help the attendees plan for their future careers.