Former deans of the UPR in Arecibo denounce irregularities in their dismissals

Former deans of the UPR in Arecibo denounce irregularities in their dismissals

Two officials who held positions of trust at the Arecibo campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) denounced alleged irregular actions by the leadership of the university system, which announced their dismissals without, supposedly, following the appropriate protocols.

Weyna Quinones Castillo, who headed the Dean of Academic Affairs, and Elizabeth Cortes Perez, now former dean of Administrative Affairs, sent letters to the Governing Board of the UPR, in which they point out that the executive director of the Office of the President of the UPR , Josue Hernandez Alvarez, informed them that they would have to leave their positions on September 8.

That day, the suspension of the rector of Arecibo was announced, Carlos Andujar Rojasafter the Office of Government Ethics (OEG) filed a complaint against him for allegedly using three official vehicles for personal benefit.

Both teachers questioned Hernandez Alvarez’s authority to request their resignations or dismiss them, while demanding that the official not present any document from the president of the UPR, Luis Ferrao Delgado, authorizing the measure.

“I question what the authority of an executive director is to make decisions at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo. I question what hierarchical level you are at when my appointment as interim dean took effect on March 17, 2017 and I was ratified as a full dean by this honorable Governing Board through certification number 95 (2019-2020) on April 3, 2020 ″, expressed Quinones Castillo in the letter sent on Monday, September 11, to the Government Board.

“I question where, in the Regulations of the University of Puerto Rico, certification number 55 (2022-2023), any function or duty is granted to non-teaching personnel over a dean,” he added in the writing.

The former dean of Academic Affairs questioned “the authority delegated to an executive director in university governance,” and in response, stated that she would not present “any resignation at the request of an official who is not recognized in the university hierarchy and who attacked the functioning and stability of the operation of our Institution.”

Until the time of this publication, it had not been possible to obtain a reaction from the central administration of the UPR to the professors’ accusations.

Case in the hands of the Academic Affairs Committee

The letters from the professors would be discussed today, Thursday, at a meeting of the Academic Affairs Committee of the UPR Governing Board, this newspaper learned from two sources.

Both Quinones Castillo and Cortes Perez reported, in their writings, that Hernandez Alvarez reported their departures in the presence of the interim rector Brenda Laboy Gonzalez. Subsequently, the executive director of the Presidency reported his dismissals at a meeting of department directors on campus, as well as at an assembly of the Brotherhood of Exempt Non-Teaching Employees (Heend).

Campus employees had previously made complaints against Quinones Castillo for her treatment of subordinates or decisions made as part of her management as dean, she confirmed. The new day through three sources. However, no evidence of disciplinary proceedings against him was found.

Cortes Perez narrated that, upon Heend’s registration, it was reported that both “resigned their positions.” The official pointed out that she was removed from the position of interim dean of Administrative Affairs, but was asked to remain as associate dean of Academic Affairs, which she refused.

“An action like this adversely affects the process that we began to reaffirm accreditation before the MSCHE (Middle States Commission on Higher Education) when, in the face of a summary suspension of the rector, my dismissal as dean of Academic Affairs, the dean of Academic Affairs, Administrative and other forced resignations,” stated Quinones Castillo in his writing.

Furthermore, he opined that there is a “total destabilization of a strong unit, evidenced by an enrollment of 2,843 students, with great projects and a firm image before the internal and external community of the north-central region of the country.”.

“Collapse” at the Arecibo campus

The student representative of the Arecibo campus before the University Board of the UPR, Josner Maysonet, told to The new day that they are still waiting for the conclusions of the complaint against Andujar Rojas, but recognized that the change of deans has caused instability in the campus.

“There is a collapse in the Arecibo campus,” Maysonet explained about the situation, which, in addition, has led to changes in student governance that he understands have not followed the ordinary processes.

Likewise, he highlighted that, last week, the University Board confronted the president of the UPR about the OEG investigation against Andujar Rojas.

“He (Andujar Rojas) is suspended and not completely removed. That is under investigation. Right now, he is not serving as rector or professor. That causes us doubts because, as a rector, he understands himself, but why as a professor? “They have him without pay,” warned the fifth-year student of the Department of Television Communication.

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