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Middle States Response From APPU Sept 14 2010

Middle States Response From APPU Sept 14 2010

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Aviso APPU a su matrícula
15 de septiembre de 2010

APPU SOMETE DOCUMENTO A LA MIDDLE STATES COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION (MSCHE), EN REACCIÓN AL INFORME CONSOLIDADO PRESENTADO POR LA VICE-PRESIDENCIA DE ASUNTOS ACADÉMICOS DE LA UPR.

Compartimos con toda nuestra matrícula el documento de la APPU dirigido a la Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Tres copias del documento fueron entregadas a la mano por la Presidenta de la APPU, Prof. María G. Rosado y por la Prof. Luz M. Tirado, miembro de la Junta Directiva, a la Vice-Presidenta de Asuntos Académicos, Ibis Aponte, quien se comprometió a entregarlas a la MSCHE. Estaremos remitiendo copia del mismo por correo certificado a la MSCHE.
El documento digital que incluimos no contiene los anejos. Si algún miembro de la APPU desea copia del documento completo, puede solicitarlo a nuestras oficinas o a nuestro correo electrónico (appu.nacional@gmail.com).
Aviso APPU a su matrícula
15 de septiembre de 2010

APPU SOMETE DOCUMENTO A LA MIDDLE STATES COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION (MSCHE), EN REACCIÓN AL INFORME CONSOLIDADO PRESENTADO POR LA VICE-PRESIDENCIA DE ASUNTOS ACADÉMICOS DE LA UPR.

Compartimos con toda nuestra matrícula el documento de la APPU dirigido a la Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Tres copias del documento fueron entregadas a la mano por la Presidenta de la APPU, Prof. María G. Rosado y por la Prof. Luz M. Tirado, miembro de la Junta Directiva, a la Vice-Presidenta de Asuntos Académicos, Ibis Aponte, quien se comprometió a entregarlas a la MSCHE. Estaremos remitiendo copia del mismo por correo certificado a la MSCHE.
El documento digital que incluimos no contiene los anejos. Si algún miembro de la APPU desea copia del documento completo, puede solicitarlo a nuestras oficinas o a nuestro correo electrónico (appu.nacional@gmail.com).

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Published by: Asoc Profesores Univ Appu on Sep 16, 2010
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09/20/2010

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September 14, 2010
 To: Middle States Commission on Higher EducationFrom: Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU)
 
Introduction: APPU Background
The Puerto Rican Association of University Professors ( Asociación Puertorriqueña deProfesores Universitarios, APPU) was founded in 1961 to protect the interests and rights of thefaculty of the University of Puerto Rico, to promote collegiality and to forward our ideals of aquality public education. Although we have not become a faculty union, we often have a rolesimilar to that of unions in disputes, policy debates and similar situations. In the current controversies at UPR, we have tried to mediate between parties, have supported the basicconcept of the need for an affordable public education of excellence and have tried to mitigatethe damages caused by a rigid administrative structure which allows little communityparticipation, has an agenda quite different from most of the university community and whichhas caused the recent crisis, including the probatory status in which most of the UPR systemfinds itself today.
Prestige of the UPR
It is noteworthy that UPR has undergone long strikes before over the years and neverbefore has Middle States felt the need to place the institution under probation. It has alwaysbeen clear that we are not a fly-by-night institution which will disappear overnight. We have a
 
 
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history of 107 years during which the UPR has served the country faithfully and has created aprofessional middle class on an impoverished island where the vast majority of studentscannot afford to go elsewhere for their education. We are a prestigious university withextensive links and agreements with hundreds of institutions around the world. We are theONLY institution of higher learning in Puerto Rico that carries out important research in allfields, from the sciences to the humanities, from architecture to education. The library system,despite its problems, serves as the National Library of Puerto Rico and the Law School Libraryis the
de facto
legal library of the island legal profession. Thus, while the recent student strikepostponed the ending of the second semester of classes when it was three weeks short of 
ending, historically, UPR has never “lost” a semester because
the academic calendar has alwaysbeen adjusted to meet the required credit hours.
Our organization was shocked that Middle States could even begin to doubt the seriousness of the community
’s
commitment with education. Our history, our numerous achievements, the provenquality of our graduates, and the many prestigious members of the faculty should be
a guarantee that UPR will not fold suddenly and must be proven to be a “viable”
institution. Only actions by the government could possibly destroy UPR, and we donot think even the current hostile climate would go that far.
 APPU position concerning the current administration’s behavior
 
We do believe that the current administration needs evaluation and critique. Like manyother state-supported schools in the States, UPR is currently under serious budgetaryconstraints, and it is important that a clear accounting of just how the available moneys have
 
 
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been and will be used must be carried out. Additionally, the university administrativepractices that led to the shut down of communication with the community need to beaddressed.
The APPU perceives a huge gap between what the administration hasunderstood as the root problems in the recent events and those perceived by the rest of us.
On
June 1, 2010
the Vice Presidency for Academic Affairs submitted a
“VoluntaryReport”
that created a picture of a university in a totally chaotic state, where students haddefied all law and order, and where teaching and research had become impossible. We beg todiffer. The strike began as a mere stoppage of two days to dramatize legitimate student concerns over substantial budget cuts affecting academic offerings, the threat to tuitionwaivers, and the concern for the unstable situation of the summer sessions. At that moment,all that was required was good faith conversation between the parties, for the studentsconcerns to be addressed and for a common search for solutions to be proposed where bothparties, administration and students could participate effectively. None of this happened. Infact, the chancellor of Río Piedras immediately decreed a lock-out. So the students went on anindefinite strike.
It was the administration that shut down research by imposing alock-out.
 The students tried repeatedly to acquire lists of researchers so that they could entercampus to continue their work. It was the university authorities, with the backing of Riot Police units of the state police, that kept people out. It is unnecessary for us to produce proof of this. Any number of videos to be found online and newspaper reports and editorials testify tothe truth. To blame the students for the prolonged shut down, when by official Certification

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