Two teachers from Medicine School of Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) presented today, Wednesday, their resignation from their respective positions of trust for understanding that the interim rector Ilka Ríos “hindered” the evaluation processes of the educational institution to favor a student at the request of his parents.
The teachers who resigned are the doctor Hilton Franqui, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Medicine; and the doctor Joalex AntongiorgiAssociate Dean for Student Affairs.
“I do not make this decision lightly, as I truly enjoy working closely with our students, as well as promoting the continuous improvement of our School of Medicine and compliance with the LCME accreditation requirements. Nevertheless, It is precisely my unwavering commitment to the students, to maintaining the prestige of the School of Medicine and to fully complying with the accreditation standards that leads me to make this decision.”, Franqui expressed in his resignation letter.
The professor explained that he participated yesterday, Tuesday, in a meeting in which he reported being “in total disagreement in the way in which Dr. Ríos has completely ignored and even hindered the evaluation processes of the School to favor a particular student, completely overriding the regulations of our School and ignoring the appeal process of adverse decisions of the university”.
The resignation letters addressed to the interim dean of the School of Medicine, Ivonne Z. Jiménez Velázquez, were delivered this afternoon.
The professors denounced the effects that this type of academic irregularity can have on the visit of the Middle States Commission on higher educationscheduled for September 2022.
Since March, the accrediting agency issued a warning to the RCM administration about the possibility that its accreditation is at risk due to alleged non-compliance with the institution’s standards.
Franqui reiterated that the rector “had to defend the interests of the institution, which include ensuring compliance with internal regulations and the requirements of accrediting agencies”. He stressed that the alleged preferential treatment of the rectory violates the regulations of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
Similarly, Dr. Antongiorgi expressed his displeasure at the “atypical” handling given to the student at the School of Medicine, who is not identified in either of the two documents.
“In light of recent events, I have expressed my strong disagreement with the manner in which a particular student’s situation was handled. As I have mentioned, my recommendations have always been with the well-being of the student and the Medical School in mind.”, declared Antongiorgi in his respective letter of resignation.
“As a member of the School’s faculty, it is impossible for me not to join the demands of my colleagues, who with such care and dedication are the ones who make the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine graduate doctors of excellence. The aforementioned actions are an outrage against the faculty and I am not willing to be an accomplice in it.”, expressed Franqui, who was appointed from the rectory of Dr. Humberto Guiot.
In addition, he explained that “this type of preferential treatment” exposes the institution to litigation processes by other students.