Strict management in medical science is crucial

At a time when the health system in Puerto Rico indicates its instability, the authorities of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) are called upon to evaluate how the renewed controversy surrounding the appointment of Elka Ríos as Dean of the Medical Sciences Campus adds difficulties in the search for ways to ensure the delivery of health services to citizens.

The Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) is the quarry from which resident physicians serving the underserved population of Puerto Rico emerge. Previously, poor administrative decisions caused the neurosurgery program to lose accreditation, which will now have to wait nearly a decade to be able to graduate new specialists.

This is the second time that the UPR Board of Directors has insisted on ratifying Ríos as RCM president, despite the disapproval expressed by the RCM community towards the official. In August 2022 — just nine months after she was hired — she was fired amid allegations from medical school deans that she obstructed a student’s evaluation in favor of his continuation on campus. A report prepared by an investigating officer commissioned by the head of the UPR himself concluded that Ríos had, in fact, violated university regulations.

On July 25, in an open letter to the board of directors of the country’s first teaching center, the medical sciences community, represented by a list of 318 signatures including five deans, nine associate deans and nine department directors, warned that the appointment was inconsistent with the needs and stability of the academic institution. The signatories accused Rios of lacking basic principles of leadership and ethics, and described his performance as administrative incompetence, in addition to creating a climate of “oppression” toward faculty and staff.

See also  Undergraduate student Carles Kaneh Mikkel will be part of the UNESCO World Council of Geoparks

Despite this, the Board of Directors confirmed Rios’ appointment by secret vote and without public discussion. As expected, the decision sparked a unanimous challenge by 243 faculty members from the School of Medicine and the resignation of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who was specifically the liaison to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. .

Although the UPR senior leadership has the power to appoint those who will fill senior positions in universities, it is difficult to understand why they would choose to ignore university principles, including pluralism, democracy and academic excellence.

With this second appointment of Ríos, whose appointment will take effect last Friday, September 1, there have been five chairs of the RCM since May 2021. Facing a lot of intermittency, it does nothing to maintain the good institutional functioning of maintaining governance. Which does not enjoy the recognition or trust of the community it is supposed to serve.

It is important to remember that in March last year, Middle States made allegations regarding the financial condition of this facility, to the point of issuing a warning for not providing sufficient evidence of its compliance with planning, resources and institutional improvement standards. . It also failed to adhere to the affiliation requirement, which requires academic institutions to document their financial resources, explain their funding source, and financial development plans. Meanwhile, at least seven academic programs including master’s degrees, doctorates, graduate certificates and bachelor’s degrees have been suspended due to an alleged shortage of interested students.

See also  800 students participated in the Breakfast with Science + Entrepreneurship Culture program

In the face of these scenarios, the Board of Directors and the UPR Presidency are called upon to build bridges with the University community, especially in the Regional Coordination Mechanism, to reach sustainable agreements that allow all components of the system to focus their efforts on the larger goal of providing the institution with stability, trust and credibility that are built on The basis for efficient, rigorous, open and transparent management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *