In the midst of the September student strike that demanded the dismissal of Ilka Rios Reyesthe Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) requested information from Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) on the appointment of rectors, after receiving complaints about possible violations of the standards that govern that process.
Although the accreditation agency’s requirement did not focus on anyone in particular, sources of The new day With knowledge of the procedure, they assured that it is related to Rios Reyes.
Specifically, in its request, Middle States established that the RCM must submit documentation to demonstrate compliance with Standard II – Ethics and Integrity (Criterion 1 and 2) and Standard VII – Governance, Leadership and Administration (Criterion 1) of appointment of rectors. Because Standard VII relates to the UPR Governing Boardthe RCM requested documentation and evidence to complement its response.
The doctor Edgardo Ruizliaison of the rectory with the MSCHE and the RCM, validated that “The requested information has already been sent to the accreditation body”.
“With the information provided, it was demonstrated that the JG (Government Board) has an administrative-regulatory structure for its operations, and in the faithful fulfillment of its duty it manages to contribute to the better functioning of the university. That is, the JG expresses its commitment to collaboration with the venues and, on this occasion, reaffirmed it with the RCM to ensure compliance with the requirements of the MSCHE and its managerial stability,” the governing body indicated in written statements. to The new day.
On September 22, in the midst of a student strike, Middle States requested an institutional response from the RCM to four formal complaints related to the process – in general – of appointing rectors, in which non-compliance with some criteria and standards of accreditation.
Four days later, the Governing Board endorsed the dismissal of Rios Reyes as rector, through an electronic referendum that was circulated among its members. That same week, on September 28, the governing body approved the appointment of Dharma Vazquez Torreswho was recommended by the president of the UPR, Luis Ferrao Delgado.
Since Rios Reyes was appointed and ratified by the Governing Board, several professors from the School of Medicine – who supported her departure – warned about possible violations of the MSCHE standards that govern the appointment of rectors.
“The accreditation agency Middle States Commission on Higher Education requested general information from the RCM about the procedures established by the RCM and the UPR, related to the appointment of a rector and the mechanisms that are carried out. In the request for information, the agency emphasized that the report refers to processes and not people. The requested information has already been sent to the accrediting body“said Ruiz, for his part.
The RCM had until October 13 to deliver the documentation to the MSCHE. Now, the accrediting agency has until November 4 to respond whether the information submitted was satisfactory or not and submit a report. If it is determined that the standards are not met, a warning could be issued against the RCM.
The student representative before the RCM Administrative Board, Jorge Riveraexpressed that they are waiting for the determination, which, in their opinion, could affect other accreditations.
“Indeed, we trust that it is nothing bad and that we remain accredited as we are at this moment”he stated.
The governing body, for its part, pointed out that “we are convinced that the University of Puerto Rico has been and is a key player in the social transformation and education of the entire country, so the JG is attentive to ensuring that its campuses can comply fully comply with their certification requirements, as well as attend to their inspection processes.”
Last November, Middle States reported that the RCM was in compliance with all accreditation standards and requirements, which is why it removed the warning that had been in place since the beginning of the year against the academic unit.