At least 5 governing board members appear to favor Andújar for UPR president
By The Star Staff
A meeting among 10 of the 14 members of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) governing board showed that at least five favored UPR Arecibo Chancellor Carlos Andújar for UPR president, two supported UPR Río Piedras Chancellor Luis Ferrao and three were undecided.
Meanwhile, the STAR learned that the board’s two student representatives and the two representatives of the professors were slated to vote based on what the academic senates have decided. Most of the 11 campuses supported Alexandra Medina-Borja, who is the program director at the National Science Foundation.
STAR sources said that on Tuesday, the 10 governing board members appointed by governors met to ascertain the mood of the board. The sources said board members Emilio Colón and Antonio Monroig supported Ferrao while Board Chairman Ricardo Dalmau, Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés and Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority representative Héctor Martínez were undecided. The rest support Andújar, they said.
Nonetheless, one of the sources said Ramos Parés appeared to be inclined toward Ferrao because he praised him for having a dream team working for him.
The same source said the student and teaching representatives were expected to vote for Ferrao, but student representative Eliud Rivas denied the information. He said however that he would vote in accordance with what the academic senates have decided.
“My interpretation is that they [the academic senates] support Medina,” Rivas said, noting in response to a STAR question that Medina had the best job interview before the governing board.
Student representative Perla D. Rodríguez said she plans to vote for Medina. The members who represent professors, Margarita Villamil and Carlos Galiano, had not answered STAR requests for comment as of press time.
Juan J. de Jesús Oquendo, president of the General Student Council of the UPR Medical Science Campus, told the STAR that at a meeting of the student confederacy, which comprises the student councils of the 11 campuses, it was confirmed that Rivas and Rodríguez were going to vote in accordance with the decisions made by the academic senates.
“That was my interpretation of that meeting,” de Jesús Oquendo said.
It was not immediately clear whether the UPR president is selected by a simple majority or an absolute majority.