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[SOURCES] UPR Board discusses budget cuts behind closed doors

By on February 4, 2017

Less than 20 days before the term to present a Fiscal Plan draft expires, University of Puerto Rico (UPR) President Celeste Freytes met behind closed doors with the University Board to discuss budget measures, which will include drastic budget cuts, according to several Caribbean Business sources.

Although the discussions tend to be open to the public and shared online, the body or the president may decide they should be executive (closed to the public) if they understand the information is sensitive or confidential.

The University Board is composed of administrative, claustral, and student  representatives from all campuses; and it is the final stage before university affairs pass on to the Governing Board’s consideration.

Today’s meeting demanded not to allow people that aren’t members, and not to reveal the addressed documents. However, according to confidential sources, the conclave deals with supposed cuts the university system may have to do in order to comply with indications imposed by the Fiscal Oversight & Management Board.

Among the possibilities are a $100 million budget cut for next year, and an additional $150 million cut for Fiscal Year 2018-19, so as to comply with demands detailed by the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) in a meeting with the Governing Board last Tuesday, Jan. 30.

This is the University Board’s second meeting in one week, since it also convened Wednesday to discuss possible measures to reach the number requested by the fiscal board. Among these was the possibility to increase professors’ load from 12 credits to 15, which would imply teaching an additional class per semester, from four classes to five.

Worth noting is that the UPR was calendarized to present the fiscal plan in march 31, but the AAFAF representative in the Governing Board informed that the university’s plan would be presented along the central government’s own fiscal plan, which is why the campus must hand in a draft by February 21 and the final document on the 28th, a month before the date established by the Fiscal Oversight & Management Board.

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