Sources: Río Piedras Campus chancellor has support to be UPR president
By The Star Staff
At least two candidates are expected to file candidacies for the presidency of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), but there are a total of five eyeing the job, the STAR was told Thursday by at least three sources.
Although officially the UPR Board of Governors had not received any applications by press time for the job, the application deadline for which is Monday, three sources told the STAR that UPR Río Piedras Chancellor Luis Ferrao Delgado and UPR Arecibo Chancellor Carlos Andújar Rojas may be filing applications before the deadline. Neither Ferrao nor Andújar responded to requests for an interview.
Other names that were mentioned by the sources were Margarita Villamil, who is a current UPR board member; former UPR Mayagüez Chancellor John Fernández Van Cleve; Palmira Ríos, a former academic dean at UPR Río Piedras; UPR Board of Governors Vice President Ubaldo Córdova; and UPR Mayaguez Chancellor Agustín Rullán.
One source mentioned Paul Latortue, who is retired but worked as a business professor at UPR over a decade ago.
Nonetheless, the sources assured the STAR that Ferrao is the candidate promoted by La Fortaleza. He is the candidate being pushed by former board of governors chairman Walter Alomar, who is very close to Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia.
“There will be an attempt for control and Pierluisi and Alomar are at the center,” one of the sources said.
The sources said Ferrao has the support of UPR Board of Governors Chairwoman Mayda Velasco, Vice Chairman Emilio Colón, and of board members Antonio Monroig and Alejandro Camporreale, as well as Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Alicea. Ferrao’s candidacy is also being pushed by New Progressive Party (NPP) Secretary General and Sen. Carmelo Ríos Santiago, and NPP Rep. José Aponte Hernández, San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón.
There are, however, board members who are questioning Ferrao’s track record at UPR Río Piedras and his handling of the recent UPR strike in which “he virtually gave the striking students control of the university,” a source said.