Maladministration in the Human Resource Department of the University of Puerto Rico

By: Alberic Rentas y Paula Baez

Dr. Ricardo Roselló has conducted scientific research with stem cells, aimed at tissue regeneration to create therapies and treat neurological diseases, heart disease and cancer.( Poto Credit Primera Hora)

Dr. Ricardo Roselló has conducted scientific research with stem cells, aimed at tissue regeneration to create therapies and treat neurological diseases, heart disease and cancer.(Photo Credit Primera Hora)

The scandal made by the naming of Dr. Ricardo Roselló, also known as Ricky Roselló, on August 28, 2012 as a professor in the Medical Science Campus of the University of Puerto Rico has created doubts about the ethics of structuring and recruiting UPR professors.

Due to the recent events that are occurring in the area of administration of the UPR, students and professors believe that the job was given to him because of the political connections he has as the son of ex-governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Roselló.

The choice was disappointing and shocking to UPR students because there was very low credibility in the final decision. Because there have been too many unstructured decisions occurring in politics, the agreement of giving the job to Ricky Roselló has been characterized as unethical and disrespectful.

According to an article published in the newspaper Primera Hora on August 27, Linda Orta,  president of the Association of Puerto Rican Professors (APPU), said the job given to Ricky Roselló was specifically made for him because the administration didn’t gave other professors the opportunity apply for the job.

The APPU leader explained that the appointment did not follow the usual procedure, which includes recommendations of the faculty itself and a needs assessment of the enclosures. “This has been a position practically designed or created to accommodate one person”, said Orta.

However, UPR President Miguel Muñoz, in a series of interviews made by different newspapers denied that the job was given to Roselló because of his political connections and said that he is highly qualified for the job and that he was evaluated just as any other professor would have been evaluated.

Yet, the local press has cast doubt on Roselló’s merits. An article published by El Nuevo Día on August 29, 2012, titled “Roselló, catedrático de paracaídas,” reflects irregularities on the decisions made on the naming of the job and how it was the University that first asked for his services. Muñoz had claimed that it was Roselló who first made the approach for the job.

Many students and professors believed that the administration of the UPR system  didn’t follow the usual procedure that its required to name someone for a job as a professor and this has brought lots of questions as to how the maladministration made the decision and why.

The UPR’s General Regulations, Section 75.1 states: Promotion and advertising of job openings. The Central Office of Human Resources, in coordination with human resources offices of institutional units, is responsible for developing the promotion and advertising of work offers to interest the best candidates to provide their services to various institutional units of the University.

In a survey conducted in the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez, seven out of ten students interviewed expressed that the job was given to Ricky Roselló for his political connections and that the way the administration made the decision was unethical and didn’t follow the regulations.

The Medical Sciences Campus of The University of Puerto Rico is the college of health professions, in which Roselló will now work as professor.(Photo Credit Medical Science Campus web page)

The Medical Sciences Campus of The University of Puerto Rico is the college of health professions, in which Roselló will now work as professor.(Photo Credit Medical Science Campus web page)

The UPR is part of the government and is influenced by the political party in turn. Consequently, Roselló’s political association with the New Progresist Party (PNP for its acronym in Spanish) and the backup of the current governor, Luis Fortuño, will question the decision of the job that was given to him regardless of his effort or capacities.

As former Secretary of the PNP, María Milagros Charbonier acknowledged that if he had not carried out an open call for the post of Assistant Professor at the UPR before being given to Ricky Roselló, there could have been some irregularity in the process of the decision.

President Muñoz claimed in a press release that the qualifications of the son of the former governor were evaluated by a committee of peers, composed of three researchers from RCM (Medical Science Campus). “The academic record and area of expertise of Dr. Roselló Nevares in generation of induced stem cells of the skin are unique and promising and will strengthen teaching and offer academic courses in that subject in Puerto Rico. The committee expressed that his areas of expertise are unique and promising,” said Muñoz to El Nuevo Día on August 27. He added that currently the Faculty of Medical Science doesn’t have an expert in bioengineering.

Finally the job was “earned” by Ricardo Roselló in a struggling moment for politics and for the professors at the UPR in which they are accusing the president of the UPR and the maladministration of not keeping collective meetings. This scandal has made students and professor distrust the way the administration deal with the recruitment of professors.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: