DATE:  December 8, 2004
CONTACT: Ann Kellett, Senior Communications Specialist, A&M Systems (979) 458-6023; Jorge A. Ramirez, Assistant Vice President for Communications, A&M-Corpus Christi (361) 825-2427


Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Among State’s Top 25 for HUB Participation

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and five other members of The Texas A&M University System were among the top 25 agencies statewide for buying goods and services provided by companies certified as Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) in fiscal year 2004, according to the Texas Procurement and Building Commission.

More than 27 percent ($3,672,336) of A&M-Corpus Christi’s total expenditures for construction, commodities, products and professional services ($13,452,863) went to HUBs in fiscal year 2004, which ended Aug. 31.

“We are pleased to have been recognized for our HUB participation levels,” said A&M-Corpus Christi Interim Vice President for Finance, Kathryn Funk-Baxter. “The University is committed to providing procurement opportunities for all businesses and increasing the access to HUBs.”

The nine universities, seven agencies and health science center that make up the A&M System spent more than $78 million out of a total of more than $448 million—or 17.58 percent—with HUBs in fiscal year 2004. This rate is 21 percent above the average for all state agencies, which was 14.5 percent.

“Our success is due in part to the implementation of the A&M System HUB Performance Improvement Plan, annual plans by our components, and—most importantly—the commitment of our CEOs,” said Jim Fletcher, vice chancellor for administration in the A&M System.

A&M System initiatives that will be introduced in 2005 to increase HUB participation include a System-wide HUB Advisory Council that will coordinate and monitor the A&M System’s HUB performance, and efforts to “close the gaps” in procurement to reflect greater diversity in HUB activity, Fletcher said. Most HUB activity in fiscal year 2004 went to women-owned businesses, then to businesses owned by Asians, African-Americans, and Hispanics.

“The A&M System has worked very hard to achieve these participation levels,” Fletcher said. “Our results demonstrate our commitment to expanding equal access and equal opportunity for all business while recognizing the ethnic makeup of our state. As more minority- and women-owned businesses become aware of procurement possibilities with state agencies, not only does the A&M System benefit, but the entire State of Texas benefits as well.”

The other A&M System members listed in the top 25 are Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Texas Cooperative Extension.

The A&M System educates 100,000 students, employs more than 38,500 across Texas, reaches another 11 million people each year through its service mission, and has an annual operating budget of $2.25 billion.