Governor leaves it up to UPR to select its president
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has left in University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Governing Board hands the selection of its president, a post for which at least five people are vying for, including interim President Nivia Fernández.
The other four candidates are economist Carlos Colón de Armas, former UPR President Miguel Muñoz, former UPR Bayamón President Arturo Avilés González, and the dean at Blackhawk Technical College, Edward Robinson.
When asked about his opinion on Muñoz’s candidacy, Rosselló simply said, “He is a good man” who “has all the qualifications.” However, he stated that before starting his administration he had established that “university autonomy would be respected.”
“My hope is good candidates are found and that the university itself can then identify who is the best man or woman to carry out this responsibility,” the governor said in a press conference after signing Act 19-2017, or permitting reform.
Rosselló said he will wait for the UPR fiscal plan to be presented to the financial oversight board before taking additional action on how to generate revenue to make up for $450 million in proposed cuts to the island’s public university.
In that sense, he hinted he would wait for the presentation of that document before including proposals in the government’s fiscal plan to help produce some $200 million, as required by the school’s interim president.
“There has to be an action before everything we are discussing, whether it is a fiscal plan by the UPR, whether certified or not certified, to then take appropriate action,” he said.
Regarding the proposals the university students presented to him at a meeting last week, including a special tax on car license plates and fees that directed new funds to the university, the governor indicated he is willing to back these.
“We are ready to support these initiatives if they have to go through the legislative route and, as we have already done and we have demonstrated, to support administrative initiatives by executive order and not only write them on paper, but also move them forward,” Rosselló said.