The Governing Board of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) voted for Uroyoán Ramón Emeterio Walker, professor of Mathematics at UPR-Mayagüez, for the position of president of the institution. Walker will commence his duties next week. According to several articles, his election was based on number of votes, rather than unanimity. The other candidates were Ricardo González Méndez and Daniel Altschuler—who were both endorsed by university leaders—and Luis Aníbal Avilés and Jorge Rodríguez Beruff. President of the General Student Council (CGE) Christian Arvelo explained that the university community feels wounded by the appointment of Uroyoán Walker as president of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) by the Governing Board, who, he says, did not listen to the recommendations of the university community. [Maritza Stanchich calls it a course in advanced masochism; I’d laugh, if it were not so sad.]
In a recent Metro article, Arvelo insists that the top two candidates were Ricardo González Méndez [professor of Biological Physics and Acting Dean of Academic Affairs and Provost at UPR Medical Sciences Campus] and Daniel Altschuler Stern [former director of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center’s Arecibo Observatory and winner of the 2010 Andrew W. Gemant Award]. The student leader added, “I understand that the considerations examined to make this decision were considerations that go beyond the candidates’ academic preparation. There were personal considerations; I can attribute this to the fact that Uroyoán Walker himself was a member of the Governing Board.”
On the other hand, President of the Senate Education Committee, Mari Tere González López congratulated Walker Ramos on his selection: “His appointment represents a paradigm shift for the UPR. Focusing priorities on the internationalization of the University is important, especially when the new times demand more projects of interaction with other countries and regions of the world.” Perhaps some of our readers can comment on what they believe “internationalization” really means.
What a pity. Such a great name . . .! Uroyoán comes from Urayoán, the Taíno cacique who ordered the drowning of Diego Salcedo (to determine whether the Spanish conquistadors were gods); Ramón Emeterio was the name of thinker and independence leader Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances; and Walker, well. . . I’d rather not go there, but in short, it resonates with memories of U.S. filibuster William Walker, his mercenary projects, and his brief presidency of Nicaragua.
For original articles (in Spanish), see http://www.elnuevodia.com/connuevopresidentelaupr-1646905.html, http://www.primerahora.com/noticias/gobierno-politica/nota/conocealnuevopresidentedelaupr-971133/ and http://www.metro.pr/locales/herida-la-comunidad-universitaria-con-designacion-de-walker-dice-el-cge/pGXmks!YgeE4gvKjzik/