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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Social media post suggests candidate for UPR presidency sought help from pro-statehood group

By The Star Staff

Although University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Río Piedras Chancellor Luis Ferrao has denied information from STAR sources to the effect that he has sought help from former Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced or from statehood forces to become UPR president, a recent photo of the group FeEstadistaUPRii says otherwise.

Ferrao denied recently that he sought the help of Vázquez Garced to lobby for votes in his favor within the UPR governing board. The STAR learned he may have at least five votes.

But a photo from the FeEstadistaUPRii, a pro-statehood group, said he sought the group’s support that was going to be ratified at a meeting slated for April 16.

Last month, the UPR governing board interviewed the four candidates for UPR president with the goal of selecting a candidate, which should happen this month.

The sources said Arecibo Chancellor Carlos Andújar and Alexandra Medina, who works at the National Science Foundation, were the ones that positively impressed the Board during the interviewing process.

The sources also said that Ubaldo Córdova, the vice president of academic affairs and research at UPR, another candidate for president, performed poorly in the interview process because he distanced himself from questions related to his role in the accreditation problems of the Río Piedras Medical Campus.

Córdova’s candidacy had gained some strength during the evaluation of the academic senates in the 11 campuses because he supports the university reform bill currently before the Legislature.

Ferrao’s interview was described as “average.” As a result, the sources assured the STAR recently that he is allegedly seeking the help of Vázquez Garced, who appointed some of the members of the governing board, to lobby for votes.

Ferrao indicated that he has support in writing from former Education Secretary César Rey, writer Mayra Santos Febres, scholar and essayist Luce López Baralt, law professor Ana Cristina Gómez and Daniel Lind, a painter from Loíza.

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