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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Oversight board objects to UPR budget

During fiscal year 2024, the Financial Oversight and Management Board and the University of Puerto Rico reportedly made progress toward developing a plan for transforming UPR operations and prioritizing investments.

By The Star Staff

The Financial Oversight and Management Board has determined that the proposed budget for the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) for fiscal year (FY) 2025 is noncompliant with the 2021 UPR Fiscal Plan, and has ordered the government to submit changes by June 14.

During FY 2024, the oversight board and the UPR made progress toward developing a plan for transforming UPR operations and prioritizing investments.

“The Oversight Board’s consideration for additional financial support is dependent on the UPR’s commitment to build upon the progress made in FY2024 by considering initiatives and actions to address challenges the University faces in the current and future years,” the oversight board said. “The UPR should identify, refine, adopt, and operationalize initiatives to improve academic excellence and operational efficiencies to improve performance through a structured approach.”

The UPR must prioritize additional investments to directly support critical student, faculty, and infrastructure needs, the oversight board said. By aligning resources effectively, the UPR can strengthen its statutory mission and drive meaningful improvements to achieve a successful transformation, it said.

Among the oversight board’s concerns were that the proposed FY2025 UPR budget assumes that incremental funds beyond the FY2025 revenue target are available to cover operating expenditures and balance the budget. Additionally, the proposed FY2025 UPR budget does not include sufficient supporting documentation or the specific data, methodology, and assumptions used to support the revenue forecast, the board said.

The oversight board objected to the $560 million in central government funds coming from a 2021 law and another $102 million government appropriation for achieving certain milestones, and some $77 million from slot machines.

It also objected to $6.8 million for faculty attending resident programs, and $6.6 million in recurring funds from providing contracted medical services to the Puerto Rico Medical Services Administration. The objections are related to a lack of documentation or explanation.

The oversight board also objected to a $5 million decrease in payroll, a $31 million increase in operations, a $16 million decrease in capital expenditures, and a $1.4 million increase in equipment and maintenance. The board also had objections related to pension contributions.

In the letter, dated May 31, the oversight board asked for a headcount of faculty and non-faculty, and the estimated cost of the FY2025 employee benefits budgeted in payroll.

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