By The Associated Press
Several university organizations criticize the Legislature and the Executive today for disrespecting the University of Puerto Rico’s fiscal autonomy, a law approved more that 40 years ago.
The University Law of 1966 approved a formula -9.69% of the Country’s budget- to finance the UPR, so that the university wouldn’t be affected by political-partisan ups and downs.
“The people of Puerto Rico have always protected their University from the intervention of political-partisan interests through fiscal autonomy”, said in a press release Angel Santos, president of the Hermandad de Empleados Exentos no Docentes.
The budget approved by the Legislature follows a proposal of governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá to trim $37 million off the UPR’s budget, he remembered.
“One of the negative effects that this partisan political attack has… is to break the physical and financial health of the institution”, indicated Santos.
In 2005, the cost of matriculation of the main teaching institution of the country was increased by 33%, which caused a month-long strike and the cancellation of commencements in the Rio Piedras campus. That increase was justified by the university administration given the difficult financial situation of the UPR.
Angel Rosario Rosario, president of the National Student Council, advanced that they will carry out “the necessary actions to make the Executive and Legislative understand that the university’s autonomy has to be respected”.
Miguel Hernandez, president of the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU), demanded the university law of 1966 to be followed “and the funds are assigned the way they in right correspond”.
The press release was signed, in addition, by the Confederation of Associations of University Professors, the Committee of Educational Dialogue, the National Student Council, the General Council of Students of Rio Piedras, the Council of Medical Sciences Students, the Council of Law School Students, the University Meeting Student Caucus, the Labour Federation, the Union of Workers and the Security Officials Union.