UPR governing board president ousted in 8-5 vote
By The Star Staff
The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Governing Board voted 8 to 5 on Thursday to oust Mayda Velasco as board president and approved an amended version of UPR’s fiscal plan to be submitted to the Financial Oversight and Management Board.
The board appointed Ricardo Dalmau as temporary board president.
The determination came amid a series of incidents at UPR, including allegations of wasteful spending by Velasco and the possible loss of Middle States accreditation by the Medical Sciences campus.
In a single weekend, the governing board spent $25,187 between hotel accommodations, food, internet and other services. Of that figure, $10,194 was spent on 13 “deluxe” rooms between Feb. 3 and Feb. 6.
The money was spent on the Second Meeting of the Committee of External Collaborators of the Institutional Transformation Office (OTI), which is attached to the governing board and was created in 2018. OTI collaborators are in charge of evaluating the operation of the Medical Sciences Campus.
However, the expenditures did not go to the board. On the weekend of Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2021, UPR funds were used for another meeting at a hotel in Isla Verde that at the time charged $1,757 per day for 10 rooms.
At a previous meeting, Velasco had to provide explanations to the board.
The approval of the fiscal plan was opposed by the student representatives to the governing board. The fiscal plan is slated to be submitted to the oversight board today.
The students complained that the fiscal plan eliminates the possibility of increasing by up to 3% the number of professors at each campus by giving that authority to the central administration.