Solidarity with UPR faculty
August 18, 2020 - We, academics in the continental US, write to express our support for the professors on strike at the University of Puerto Rico who are fighting to protect their pensions, protesting the terrible teaching conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, denouncing the threat of political persecution by corporate administrators that are out of touch with the university culture, and questioning the abrupt and unilateral decision of the administration of the UPR to switch all of its digital operating systems to Microsoft (to the tune of 3.3 million dollars) during the worst possible moment. The “Paro Académico y Diálogo Nacional por la UPR” will be a three-day strike starting tomorrow which will include a series of events and dialogues to rethink the future of the public university and empower the faculty and the students in the decision-making process of the UPR. During the current crisis, teachers and professors all over the world have been forced to re-invent ourselves with creativity, learning new technologies and finding new ways to reach our students. We are all overworked and frequently underpaid, and our job is an essential service to our societies. Furthermore, the University of Puerto Rico, the most (and perhaps only) affordable university in the US, has been the constant target of corrupt state administrators and the Oversight Fiscal Control Board (“La Junta”), which has dramatically cut the budget of the university in order to pay an inhumane (and possibly illegal) debt to Wall Street. To our colleagues on strike in the University of Puerto Rico and their association of professors (APPU and APRUM), we want you to know that we are paying close attention to your situation and that we stand in solidarity with your struggle. We hear you. We admire you. We love you.