Letter from the President

Andrew Sund
Dear ILACHE members,
The election is over, and there are some encouraging signs for issues important to our constituents. It is clear from all analyses that the Latino vote played a crucial role in securing the re-election of President Barack Obama. This was a result not only of the votes Latinos cast in favor of Obama but of the decline of votes denied Romney that Latinos traditionally cast for the Republican Party.    

This new reality of Latino weight in the election has important consequences. Even before the election we saw the implementation of the Deferred Action Plan, and now there are serious talks about passing the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Washington is listening because it now knows that our voices are backed with real power in the form of votes.

But 2012 was also a difficult year. The financial crisis continues and talks of a fiscal cliff could severely impact Pell grants, Title V and other forms of federal funding for Latinos in higher education. Twenty-twelve was the year when affirmative action policies once again took center stage in political discussions. So we must continue to be active and make sure that our voice is heard. We are in a better position than before, but there is much to do.

At a local level, the state of Illinois’ fiscal crisis is not easing. In terms of higher education funding, the most immediate priority is the MAP award. Every year more people apply than receive it, and the cut-off date is earlier and earlier. I encourage all of you to develop a strong campaign at your institutions and in your communities to assure that all college bound individuals complete the FAFSA for the year 2013-14 by March thereby assuring that all Latinos who require MAP support can receive it.

We hope that 2013 will be a better year for Latinos in higher education. We look forward to seeing you at the ILACHE conference on April 19, 2013 at Roosevelt University.

Andrew Sund

ILACHE Conference 2013

From Numbers to Action:

Advancing Latino Educational Attainment and Leadership

 Friday, April 19, 2013

St. Augsustine College,
1345 West Argyle,
Chicago, Illinois

9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Commentary: Pushing Back Against the War on the Middle Class

Leonard Ramirez
The failure to amend the Illinois Constitution that politicians quietly placed on the November 2012 ballot as an end around pension obligations prompted Governor Pat Quinn to initiate an education program to convince the people of Illinois of the need for reform. The underlying tone of the Internet campaign, “Thanks in Advance,” resembles recent attempts to blame striking Chicago Public School teachers for missed school days. “Thanks in Advance” is another chapter in the war against pensions that suggests that government workers are jeopardizing the futures of Illinois children. Using an emotionally charged strategy of divide and conquer, the “reform” campaign sets private against public employees; community agencies and grass roots staff against public workers and union members, and the young against the aging. 

Editorial: The Elections of 2012

Liz Ortiz
It is quite evident that Latinos played a decisive role in electing President Obama. Seventy-two percent  of Latinos voted for the President, and in several key states Latinos were the wave that turned the tide in the President’s favor.  Political pundits and commentators will continue to analyze this election. My commentary  merely provides some post-election observations.

Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship

The world is constantly changing, and with that change, come great challenges and opportunities. The last few decades were witness to an extraordinary period of growth of the undocumented immigrant community. Regardless of what lies ahead, we are certain of one thing; access to education for undocumented immigrants, is essential for the growth of Illinois and this nation. Tomorrow’s leaders will need to be able to be great thinkers, possess both wisdom and depth of understanding. And they must have a profound sensitivity to people’s needs and motivations.

Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) program

The goal of DFI is to increase the number of minority full-time tenure track faculty and staff at Illinois’ two- and four-year, public and private colleges and universities.  DFI applications are due to institutional representatives on February 18, 2013. The DFI website listed below has a list of institutional representatives.  

Tertulia Para Asustar A Los Notarios

Alejandro Ferrer, professor of Literature at St. Augustine College (Left) interviews Fernando Olszanski Argentinian novelist after his reading from one of his novels during “Tertulia Para Asustar A Los Notarios” (“Poetry  Gathering to scare Notaries”), a literature workshop held at St. Augustine College’s Charlie Chaplin Auditorium on October 20, 2012.

St. Augustine College and Univision Radio Stations in Chicago Launch MAP Grants Awareness Campaign

St. Augustine College is collaborating with Univision Radio stations in Chicago and Latino community organizations to launch a campaign aimed at creating awareness of the need to apply early for Illinois MAP Grants before funds run out. A few years ago the filing period ended in August. However, last year funds ran out on March 13, leaving a shortened period of just 2 ½ months to apply in time for funding.

Many Latinos are not benefiting from these grants due to a lack of awareness of the program or because of late applications. MAP grants can be the deciding factor on having access to higher education for many in our communities. This campaign will include on-air promotions of this message and 12 “College Access and Financial Aid” workshops targeting the Latino community in various locations in the Chicago area (every Saturday morning, 9:30am-12 noon, from December 8, 2012 to March 2, 2013).

For more information, contact David Cordova at: 773-878-4014 or  dcordova@staugustine.edu.  Please visit our website at www.staugustine.edu

Illinois State University named One of Top in Nation for Hispanic Student Graduation Rate Gains

Illinois State University has been named by The Education Trust as one of the top 25 public institutions in the nation, and the only public university in Illinois, for gains made in Latino student graduation rates.

The recently released report, Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students, lists Illinois State at 19th in the nation for public universities making gains in graduation rates for Latino students while keeping graduation rates for others steady or improving. The University placed 19th for closing the graduation gap between Latinos and their fellow students.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Future NEIU El Centro Campus


Artist Rendering of the new NEIU El Centro Campus
After more than 40 years of serving students and the community in leased space, Northeastern Illinois University is moving forward with plans to construct a new, permanent home for the NEIU El Centro Campus. Located in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, this new campus facility will allow NEIU to significantly expand its academic and community programming.  The new campus will be located at 3400 N. Avondale Ave., Chicago, Illinois.


Buena Suerte Compañero!

Daniel Aranda

Daniel Aranda recently celebrated his fifth year anniversary at Columbia College Chicago.  He is relocating to Washington, D.C. to pursue a position in diversity & inclusion with the federal government. The ILACHE Board thanks our colleague for his many contributions and wishes him well in his new position.   

In the Time of the Butterflies – The Big Read at Columbia College Chicago

The Columbia College Chicago Library is a three time grant recipient of The Big Read, a nationwide reading initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts designed to "revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.”  Grants are awarded based on the quality of the application as well as the ability to carry out programming that will draw audiences of readers and (especially) non-readers alike and increase readership through book discussions and dialogue.   In 2009, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was the featured book, and in 2011, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. For the third Big Read application, Library staff chose to focus on a writer of color from the collection of titles supported by The Big Read. Columbia College Chicago was fortunate to be one of 78 applicants granted funding through The Big Read for the 2012-2013 program cycle.   In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez was chosen as the featured selection for spring 2013.  

Delfos Danza Contemporánea


Delfos Danza Contemporánea is one of Mexico’s leading contemporary dance companies earning worldwide acclaim. In its 20 years of ongoing presentations, audiences in Latin America, Asia Europe, Canada and the United States, have been delighted by Delfos’ uniquely dynamic repertory.

ILACHE News Submissions


Submission Deadline
Posting Date
Friday, November 30, 2012
December 11
Friday, March 1, 2013
March 15
Pre Conference 
Friday, April 26, 2013
May 3
Friday, August 16, 2013
September 6

 Please send submissions to José Perales at ilache@ilache.com.    Subject:  Newsletter