Acting Education chief backs call for UPR president’s resignation

By John McPhaul

Acting Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés said Thursday that he supported the decision of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) governing board to request the resignation of Jorge Haddock as president of the institution.

“The [governing] board had before its consideration certain matters related to the administration, accreditation and management of the university. And among those issues was the direction of the university,” Ramos Parés said in a radio interview with Normando Valentín on Notiuno 630.

Part of the controversy surrounding Haddock has to do with the loss of accreditation for the Neurosurgery residency program at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus (RCM). That program was later shut down for reorganization, Haddock said weeks ago. Meanwhile, the RCM Radiological Technology program was put on probation.

“It was a decision of the [governing board], but that’s the way it is,” Ramos Parés said when asked if he voted in favor of asking Haddock to resign, at Wednesday’s meeting, which was held virtually with voting by email. “I believe that the number of issues that have been accumulating and the responses given to the governing board … forced that decision-making at this time.”

“The resignation [of Haddock] has not come,” he added. “The [governing] board continues its meetings and obviously the resolution of the board will be enforced.”

Haddock, for his part, reacted in disbelief on Wednesday to the governing board’s request that he resign as president of the UPR.

“I admit that the decision takes me by surprise, due to the results obtained and the fact that my contract is valid for five years,” Haddock said in a written statement.

“Responsibly and always thinking about the university first, I am concerned about the delay it will cause in the institutional transformation process and the possible loss of federal funds or the delay that it would cause in their distribution to students and campuses,” he said.

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