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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Head of UPR pro-statehood group: No authorization given to back a candidate for system presidency

By The Star Staff

The head of Fuerza Universitaria Estadista (Pro-Statehood University Force) said Tuesday he did not authorize anyone from the organization to lobby in favor of the selection of University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Río Piedras Campus Chancellor Luis Ferrao Delgado as UPR president at a Mision Estadista meeting last week.

“I was not at the meeting. I don’t know if someone from the group did [call for support for Ferrao Delgado], but if that happened, it was done without my authorization,” said the group’s coordinator, René Rodríguez Vázquez.

The Misión Estadista meeting last Thursday was to discuss planning for the March 2 celebration of Citizenship Day. However, STAR sources said on Sunday that Fuerza Universitaria Estadista used the Misión Estadista meeting at New Progressive Party headquarters to, among other things, discuss strategies for helping put Ferrao Delgado in place as UPR president.

Last week, the UPR governing board’s Search and Consultation Committee trimmed down the list of candidates for the UPR presidency. The position has been occupied on an interim basis by Mayra Olavarría Cruz since August. Thus, the files of Ferrao Delgado, Carlos J. Andújar Rojas, Ubaldo Córdova Figueroa and Alexandra Medina-Borja will be sent to the academic senates at the various campuses so they can undertake their process of analysis, validation of references and interviews with candidates. The academic senates must make a decision on or before April 4.

Rodríguez Vázquez, who is a professor, said the group has not yet heard the positions of the candidates on a host of different issues impacting the university, such as the consolidation of campuses.

“I want to see what their positions are first,” he said.

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