KINGSVILLE - The University of Texas-Pan American and Texas A&M University-Kingsville signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday, Jan. 30 to collaborate on education, service and research efforts.
TAMUK President Marc Cisneros and UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez signed the memorandum at the start of the Hispanic-Serving Institution Grant and Funding Opportunities Summit, a collaborative effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Leadership Group.
Also present were representatives of Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-Mercedes), HACU President Dr. Antonio Flores, and Dr. Charles Onstad, USDA Area Director, Southern Regional Agricultural Research Service. Nevárez and Onstad are co-chairs of the leadership group.
As part of the agreement, UTPA and Texas A&M University-Kingsville, both Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), will collaborate with South Texas Community College and Coastal Bend College, also HSIs in the district.
The understanding is based on the premise collaborative efforts bring more research and development funds to the South Texas region and result in more efficient use of resources. Further, significant expertise is currently resident in both institutions, and such expertise is especially pertinent to South Texas.
"Having two major universities from two different systems in one congressional district presents opportunities for an even stronger impact on this region," said Judy McAda, district director for the 15th Congressional District.
"Working together as a team is the key to getting the federal resources to these HSIs that are vital to this area, which has unique strengths and challenges." The USDA's HSI Education Grants Program is a federal competitive grants program specifically targeted to HSIs.
The program is designed to promote and strengthen the ability of HSIs to carry out education programs that attract, retain and graduate students capable of enhancing the U.S. food and agricultural, scientific and professional workforce.
The two-day summit, attended by more than 90 participants from higher education institutions and community-based organizations, will be held annually and rotate from TAMUK to UTPA.