Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

U of R receives Hispanic Serving Institution designation

Palm trees frame the facade of the Administration Building.

The U.S. Department of Education recently designated the University of Redlands as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), a status that will allow the University to pursue a variety of federal grant funding opportunities to strengthen programs, facilities, and services to better serve Hispanic/Latinx Americans and other underrepresented populations.

The Bulldog Blog asked a number of campus stakeholders to weigh in on what the designation means to them and the future of the University:

“I am delighted … the U.S. Department of Education has designated the University of Redlands as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. This designation can help us recruit a broad range of Hispanic/Latinx students, better support them on-campus, and pave the way for successful careers for these future leaders.”
Kathy Ogren, provost

“The HSI designation is an important recognition of the reality of who we are in terms of our demographics and the communities that we serve. It's a tremendous accomplishment for the faculty, staff, and students who moved it forward. I have the benefit of being a graduate of a Historically Black College/University, and I understand the importance of not just identity, but, more importantly, the ways in which that shapes young people, what they think about, where they will attend school, and what they will do. This dovetails with the future of the University and its growth—not just in terms of the number of students, but also the students we bring in and the quality of the faculty we recruit. We may have even greater increases in the number of folks who identify as Latinx. But I hope we also have growth in terms of other people of color, who see this as a place that is open to and welcoming of other communities.”
Christopher Jones, senior diversity and inclusion officer

“In U of R’s doctoral program for educational justice, our driving mission is to uphold equity for all students. To me, our designation as an HSI is a practical application of these core values. It celebrates Redlands as a passionate advocate for Latinx students, recognizes their valuable contributions, and acknowledges our commitment to their future success.”
Anuradha Diekmann ’19 (MBA), ’24 (Ed.D.), associate director of corporate and foundation relations

“Becoming an HSI is such an important milestone in the University of Redlands’ history. It acknowledges the work we have been doing to recruit Hispanic/Latinx students and their families and it cements for us a commitment to enhance the work and to provide infrastructure of support for recruitment, retention, and transition to career. There are so many great examples of programs at college campuses across the country and I cannot wait to learn more and to see what is possible at Redlands. The HSI designation is the first step on our pathway to ensuring Latino student success. As a first-generation college student and Latina, I am personally committed to this work, and I am excited at the opportunities that might be available to us and to our students as a Hispanic Serving Institution.”
Belinda Sandoval Zazueta, associate vice president of admissions

“As I was assembling the application for exemption [a step in the U of R’s HSI application process], I was so heartened from what I learned about how much the University has been doing to reach out to and support disadvantaged and underrepresented students. The HSI designation validates what we’ve become as an institution and where we are going… [It] opens up opportunities for funding that weren’t available to us before. These opportunities can give us the resources needed to provide even better support to our increasingly diverse student population.”
Steven Moore, director of the Center for Spatial Studies, and director of sponsored programs

“Both the HSI designation and the journey to it have been meaningful. As a Latina higher education scholar, this is a professionally and personally exciting time to be at the University. Many influential organizations have considered Redlands an HSI for years—since we first reached 25 percent Hispanic enrollment—and us seeking formal federal recognition shows we are proud of this aspect of our institutional identity. Through conversations with many colleagues over the last year about becoming an HSI, I was able to learn about the many efforts already in place to help Latinx students be successful at the University and also see that a real commitment to building on those efforts is shared by many. The federal designation will allow us to seek financial opportunities that can help the institution enact that commitment and move further in the direction of truly serving our students.”
Adriana Alvarado, professor of education

“The HSI designation serves as a recognition of the important role the University of Redlands plays in empowering our Hispanic/Latinx students to succeed personally and professionally. At the School of Business, we have embraced a diverse student body throughout our 40-plus year history. We are currently more diverse that ever with a student body that is 40% Hispanic, 62% people of color, and over 50% first-generation.  The HSI designation will allow us to pursue resources to advance educational opportunities and experiences to the benefit of current and future students.”
Thomas Horan, Senecal Endowed Dean of the School of Business

“The Hispanic Serving Institution designation has been exciting and hopeful news for many including myself. This kind of recognition demonstrates the changes that are to come in terms of equity for the Redlands community. This is a step forward for our University, I also believe that it becomes a form of accountability and responsibility to better serve underrepresented students. Now more than ever, the University has the opportunity to serve its students, not just Hispanic or Latinx students but also those who are Black, Indigenous, and students of color. I am excited to see what is in store at Redlands and what kinds of resources this new recognition will bring.”
Montserrat Pineda ’22

“The HSI designation is a validation of the tremendous growth we’ve seen in Hispanic student enrollment at the University over the past decade. But, more importantly, the designation affords us the opportunity to seek resources to support and enhance the educational experience of our Latinx students for years to come, both inside and out of the classroom.”
Kevin Dyerly ’00, ’04 (MBA), vice president for finance

“One of the factors that drew me to the University of Redlands was how the student body's demographics were representative of the area from which it recruits. As a student, researcher, and faculty member in the sciences, my experience has been that the composition of institutions rarely reflect the regions they draw on for students and staff. At each of my previous institutions, there have been individuals who pushed to improve access and retention among underrepresented groups. I owe a debt to those people for their efforts. Working at a Hispanic Serving Institution will help me make the sciences—and college education—an appealing and successful pathway for future students. I look forward to lifting others up as recompense for the helping hands that have pulled me up in my career.”
Martín Hoecker-Martínez, professor of physics

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Redlands.