Sept. 17-23 is National Hispanic-Serving Institutions week and New Mexico State University will join other members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities in celebrating our rich diversity during this important week.
For NMSU, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We serve a state and a region with a large Hispanic population and more than 54 percent of our students are of Hispanic descent. It’s worth noting, organizations that are more diverse tend to be more successful. When more people are represented and more viewpoints are heard, more creativity and more innovation tend to follow. As you can imagine, this will be crucial as we work to improve student success, elevate research and creativity and amplify our outreach and economic development.
Across the U.S., the economic impact of the Hispanic community is quite large. According to the recently-released “Latino Gross Domestic Product Report: Quantifying the Impact of American Hispanic Economic Growth,” the estimated U.S. Latino GDP is $2.13 trillion – the seventh-largest GDP in the world and larger than the total national GDPs of India, Italy, Brazil or even Canada.
Across the NMSU System, we receive millions of dollars in grants and other funding because of our Hispanic Serving Institution status. In particular, we receive direct funding from Title V federal grants, as well as a significant competitive advantage in obtaining many other federal and private grants because of the presence of our Hispanic and other minority students in our classrooms. When received by NMSU, this funding is allocated widely to all of NMSU´s students and faculty in the form of equipment for research labs and student computer labs, funding for faculty research labs, salaries for graduate and undergraduate student researchers, student life and many other campus activities.
I encourage everyone to join us in observing National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week and recognizing the important role HSIs play in improving access to education and advancing equity for traditionally underserved students.