May, 2011Ricardo Romo, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio, has been appointed by President Barack H. Obama to serve on a 16-member commission that will advise the President on ways to improve education for Latinos. Romo will travel to Washington, D.C. May 26-27 for the Commission’s inaugural meeting and swearing-in.
The Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was signed into law by Obama on October 18, 2010, and is charged with “expanding educational opportunities, improving education outcomes and delivering a complete and competitive education for all Hispanics.”
“I am privileged to be appointed to this important commission,” said Romo. “The growing Hispanic population in Texas is a preview of the diversity we will soon experience across the nation. It is critical that we prepare Hispanics to succeed-- in school, at their jobs and in life.”
According to excerpts from the Executive Order to create the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Hispanics are the United States’ largest and fastest-growing minority group. Fifty-two million Hispanics live in the United States, including four million in Puerto Rico. Hispanics are also the largest minority group in U.S. schools. More than 11 million Hispanic students are enrolled in America’s pre-kindergarten through 12th grades, comprising 22 percent of the nation’s total pre-K through 12th grade student enrollment. However, only 12 percent of adult Hispanics have a bachelor's degree, and just 3 percent have completed graduate or professional degree programs.
The Advisory Commission will be responsible for:
· developing, implementing and coordinating educational programs and initiatives at the Department of Education (DOE) and other agencies to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics of all ages;
· increasing the participation of the Hispanic community and Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the DOE's programs and in education programs at other agencies;
· engaging the philanthropic, business, nonprofit and education communities in a national dialogue regarding the mission and objectives of this order; and
· establishing partnerships with public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit stakeholders to meet the mission and policy objectives of this order.
A nationally respected urban historian, Romo is the author of "East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio," now in its ninth printing. As president of UTSA, a Hispanic-serving institution, Romo oversees the operation of two academic campuses that educate more than 30,000 students as well as the Institute of Texan Cultures. The university, which is vying with six others in Texas to become a Tier One research institution, has experienced more than 50 percent growth in enrollment over the last 10 years. More than 60 percent of UTSA’s students come from groups underrepresented in higher education.
In 2002, President Bush appointed Romo to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In 2004, Romo was appointed as a U.S. representative to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization and in 2008, he was 23-member commission that will explore the potential of creating a national museum dedicated to American Latinos.
Currently, Romo serves on nearly two dozen boards at the local, state and national levels, such as the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, the American Council on EducationTM, Comexus and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Other individuals appointed by Bush to the commission include Eduardo J. Padrón (chair) and César Conde of Fla.; Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Sylvia Acevedo and JoAnn Gama of Texas; Darline P. Robles and Patricia Gándara of Calif.; Alicia Abella and Marta Tienda of N.J.; Luis R. Fraga of Wash.; Maria Neira and Lisette Nieves of N.Y.; Daniel Cardinali of Va.; Manny Sanchez of Ill.; and Alfredo J. Artiles of Ariz.
UTSA is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and the third largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
UTSA serves more than 30,000 students in more than 130 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and the Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. Learn more at www.utsa.edu.