Innovation and Renewal at UPRM – Getting to Know the AGB Report

Dear students, colleagues, friends, collaborators, administrators, members of the expanded UPRM community–

This letter is an invitation to study the Report that the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has prepared for the University of Puerto Rico.

In a conjuncture where the best and most peaceful option we have is a wisely negotiated bankruptcy that will wipe out debts and keep the island’s assets in the island while suspending credit for Puerto Rico, this proposal for reform is like an extended hand that offers a lifesaver to  those in a sinking boat.  It is wise to appreciate life savers when one’s boat is sinking.  They can make all the difference!  I’ve had a bankruptcy.  I learned one of the greatest lessons of my life: Serena, live within your means!  Now I have assets, not debts.  The same could happen to the UPR and all of Puerto Rico.  It i my wish in writing this.  Thank you!

The document and what it proposes matters to everyone a great deal.  It recommends many things that we all know should have been done gradually over the years.  We have been mired in what is often called inmovilismo, a fear of change that ultimately causes more problems than it can ever fix.  Now is the last chance to finally get to those changes!  Are we going to take it or miss it?

I propose very ample discussions about this proposal in all administrative and teaching units.  Departments, faculty, administrators, employees, students.  We all have to get in sync so that we can collaborate eagerly for the common good.  Can we do it?  I hope so.  Please consider.  Thank you!

“You can’t always get what you want,”  as Tina Turner says.  But there is a lot we can do when we become honest, upfront, direct, and sincere.  Unashamed.  For any process of renewal, self-knowledge is key.

This letter makes the AGB document available.  It’s very important to study the project with keen attention, an open mind, and in the spirit of analytical observation.  Knowledge is key.  What does the document say?  Do we really know and understand the content before we take action about it?  Any action devoid of knowledge is ignorant.  I have invited all my students to do what students do: study the document.  Find it at this link:

Building a Sustainable University System

For open discussions, there is some forum already in place too.  A series of open meetings has been organized by the Comite de Autonomia.  They’re at the Hora Universal.  I went to the one on March 10.  The next one is on March 15, in Stefani 113.  Then on March 31 in Anfiteatro de Enfermeria.  We need many more of these, at different hours.

There is plenty of room in these forums.  That’s where it’s good to be.  The more people participate, the more we can prove that we are capable of renewal and of welcoming change as a community.  The more the renewal project the Report proposes becomes doable.  The more our chance to save the life of the University of Puerto Rico becomes real.

Let’s get started right now!

Hope this helps.

Enjoy the week!

 

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serenagaia • March 13, 2016


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