May the best man win ?

May the best man win ?

By: Guillermo Gumieny Briam Santiago

How would you feel if a job you’re interested and qualified to do was awarded to someone and you didn’t even have the opportunity to compete for it?  A similar situation took place in the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico where Ricardo Rosselló, son of former governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Rosselló, was named professor, a position that many think was designed especially for him. The position was never publicly advertised and others didn’t have the chance of competing for it.

            Lida Orta, president of the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors, expressed that Ricardo Rosselló’s hiring to a teaching position at the Institute of Neurobiology in the University of Puerto Rico was as if he had “fallen with a parachute”.  Lida Orta made herself clear, reaffirming that she has never doubted Ricardo Rossello’s credentials, but that the process in which he was hired definitely took everyone by surprise.   


Lida Orta, president of the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors, defending professor’s rights after the Ricardo Rosselló scandal. She feels that Ricardo Rosselló has the credentials to be a professor, but it was an unfair hiring

“The process requires an open call of every single candidate, and that the credentials of each one are evaluated.  Those steps were never done properly” said Orta to El Nuevo Día

A few days after Ricardo Rosselló was hired and the scandal rose, UPR president Miguel Muñoz declared that Rosselló had all of the requirements for the position that he had just acquired.   “The academic record and area of expertise of Dr. Rosselló Nevares in the generation of induced stem cells of the skin will strengthen teaching and offer academic courses in that subject in Puerto Rico,” said Muñoz to El Nuevo Día.

Muñoz definitely felt the pressure and the urge to defend Ricardo Rosselló, but nobody was doubting his academic preparation or experience, but the process in which he was elected to occupy that position. 

Out of ten interviews to second year student of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, the vast majority thought that the hiring of Rosselló was mainly because he is the son of former governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Rosselló.  Christopher López, an agriculture major, said “It’s sad, a clear example of corruption in our University, clearly just by being son of a famous person nowadays gives you a certain advantage over everyone else… it’s favoritism” The vast majority of the students interviewed felt the same way as López.  Juan Rodríguez Cepero, currently studying history, saw the hiring of Ricardo Rosselló as a problem because of the way it was handed out to him.  Other people have been waiting years for an opportunity such as that one and I can’t quite understand why the University publishes a book that has nothing to do with the job that he has been assigned to do”. 

Rodríguez Cepero was referring to another conflict that occurred shortly after the designation of Ricardo Rosselló. The publishing house of the University of Puerto Rico decided to publish a book by Rosselló.  The approval of the book “Un mejor Puerto Rico es posible” caught many people off guard, because they felt that the University forgot about everyone else.  The fact is that before Ricardo Rosselló, many other professors had been waiting for the opportunity to get their books published.  They reserited  and this is but another injustice committed by the University.  Professors Rafael Joglar made clear that this situation was definitely preposterous.  “As an author I find this offensive and this is simply favoritism taking place in our University”, he said.

Teresa Rivera, who works in the UPRM’s Human Resources office, felt that the signing or Ricardo Rosselló is certainly something that should be looked at closely.  Rivera stated that in the University jobs have become limited, and the problem does not rest only on that sudden position appearing, but in how that job position was granted to Rosselló.  “Every job awarded in the University must be fair.  Everyone has the same right to compete for a job application, but in this case what I’ve heard of when no one other than Ricardo Rosselló gets notified about the opening of this position that is simply the University doing wrong and not giving others a fair chance”, Rivera said.  She agrees with other critics that everyone deserves the same service despite who they are.


The Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Ricky Rosselló was named professor there, a position that many think was designed especially for him.





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