Was it a good call? by Christopher González and Miguel Hernández

In the middle of a crisis that extended to all the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Ricardo Roselló Nevares was designated by the administration to be a bioengineer professor specialized in stem cells at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus last August.

In response to this designation some university sectors condemned the designation of Dr. Rosselló suggesting policies from the university’s bylaws have been overlooked. However, UPR President, Dr. Miguel Muñoz, defended the hiring stating that the policies have been followed completely and that it was a necessity for the campus.

Besides acquiring this position at the Medical Science Campus the UPR’s publishing house will be publishing a book about political status written by Roselló, allegedly leaving behind authors like Rafael Joglar, Biology professor, whose third book wasn’t considered for publication by the editorial.

For most of the interviewee the designation of Dr. Ricardo Roselló Nevares as a bioengineer professor specialized in stem cells at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus was something merely political

For most of the interviewee the designation of Dr. Ricardo Roselló Nevares as a bioengineer professor specialized in stem cells at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus was something merely political

Following this subject we made some interviews to a few students, professors and investigation students, all of them belonging to the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus, the questions of the interview were related to the job of Ricardo Roselló at the university, depending on the knowledge on the issue we sometimes asked a few more questions to the interviewee. Some of the questions were; what is your opinion about the designation of Ricardo Roselló as professor in the Medical Science Campus?, what do you think about the silence that this process had?, do you think that his role in the politics could influence in his designation as professor?

For Daira Nazario, undergraduate chemical engineer student, handling the process of Roselló’s designation in secrecy wasn’t very ethical and fair. Although  one of her professors told her that the designation was legit based on the curriculum of Ricardo Roselló, Nazario said that the administration should have followed what the bylaw stipulates.

On another note Nazario had no knowledge of the controversial book.

Raymind Ruiz, political science major, believes that Roselló’s designation was something merely political.  “We have to remember that the Governor of Puerto Rico shares the same ideology that Ricardo Roselló and the majority administration of the University of Puerto Rico.” He also said that this job could be strategy to gain recognition by the general public specially the Progressive Political Party so that he can run for governor or resident commissioner in the 2016 elections.

In regards to the book Raymind expressed: “the University made a bad decision in publishing his book because the university house publisher runs with public funds that are acquire from payments of students enrollment”.

Unclear about the issue but clear on her opinion was Michelle, undergraduate biology student, who claimed that if the designation was kept a secret, it was unfair for the candidates who can do an equal or better job than him. She also argued that the whole process is something merely politic.

Dr. Miguel Muñoz, President of the University of Puerto Rico, defended the hiring stating that the policies have been followed completely and that it was a necessity for the campus.

Dr. Miguel Muñoz, President of the University of Puerto Rico, defended the hiring stating that the policies have been followed completely and that it was a necessity for the campus.

For Samuel Rosario, associate investigator researcher, the University should follow the protocols established the bylaw of the University because making the processes without following the protocols leaves bad impressions.  About the book he said: “Any publication is good instead of the ideology that it could had, but I would prefer that the theme of the book of Dr. Ricardo Roselló Nevares were about the investigation that he is making because in my opinion they are only a few people in the area that he serves”. “The transparency of a process always creates an uncertainty of how and why it is there, if the administration wanted they could make an special designation, that is what the administration do with me” Rosario added.

For Dr. Jeffrey Valentín, Head of Department and Professor of Economic Sciences Campus, all the hiring process for professors by the university follows a bylaw, which states processes in which the competitiveness is encouraged to the candidates for a job. Based on the written press Dr. Valentín commented that for Rosselló’s designation seems like these processes weren’t followed, as the seed of competiveness may not have been there for other professionals who may have equal or better academic preparation. If this is the case, Dr. Valentín claims, this may have caused a lack of trust for the regular employees towards the institution because of the preference they may have for having family routes who are related to the political party of the government in turn.

Regarding Roselló’s book publichation Dr. Valentín commented about how in the current fiscal year the university lacks of economic resources, as stated by the laws of the university, which means that the university’s editorial may not have the economic resources to publish all the books submitted by all the professors in the university. Dr. Valentín questioned how from less than an academic semester Dr. Rosselló published his book with no problem and which process of competiveness went on to determine which book had more priority leaving out the censorship of the book, if in fact the book is about the political status and the institutions of Puerto Rico instead of biological science this leaves out questions as there may have been other professors who have submitted their books related to their specialties and may be waiting their book to be publish.

Luis Jiménez, electrical engineering professor,  expressed ”Any   designation made by the University of Puerto Rico is supposed to be openly announced first, so everyone who is eligible to this position could submit his/her curriculums with no prejudgment, but on how this process had been take it gives the impression that the protocols established in the bylaw had been skipped”.

Professor Jiménez also commented that he had searched for some references of Dr. Ricardo Roselló that could  complement why  he deserves this job. He couldn’t find any promising reference or publications that support the statements by President Muñoz defending the designation and for Jimenez this can cause certain doubts about the designation.

As for the book he said, ”it has nothing to do with his research and the purpose of why he had been hired as there is a full list of people waiting to publish books about their investigations and not political propaganda.”.

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