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The Middle States warns that accreditation of the UPR campus of medical sciences is at risk

The Middle States warns that accreditation of the UPR campus of medical sciences is at risk

Accreditation Agency Middle States Commission on Higher Education issued a warning to Medical Sciences Campus subordinate University of Puerto Rico (UPR) because their accreditation could be jeopardized by potential non-compliance with enterprise standards.

Specifically, the middle states decided at their March 10 meeting that medical sciences did not provide sufficient evidence that it complies with Standard VI for Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement, as well as with Affiliation Requirements 11. The latter requires academic institutions to document their finances. Resources, explaining the source of their financing and financial development plans. In addition, the organization must demonstrate responsible financial management, must have a budget for the current fiscal year, and must complete external financial audits annually.

“The institution remains accredited during the notice period,” the accrediting body said, noting that federal regulations specify the period during which a campus can be in noncompliance before additional actions are taken.

Under middle states regulations, a warning is issued that accreditation may be at risk when an academic institution “does not appear to comply with one or more body accreditation standards, membership requirements, policies and procedures” but demonstrates “the ability to make appropriate improvements and comply again within 36 months.” “And when the institution proves that it can sustain itself in the long term.

The interim chair of the UPR, Mayra Olavaria Cruz, noted that the action was a result of the budget cuts that the entire UPR system had faced in the past years, contained in the financial plan approved by Financial Supervisory Board (JSF).

“It is not an option to lose RCM accreditation due to the lack of financial resources to ensure the high-level operation that has always characterized our beloved campus.. From the presidency of the UPR, we will continue to work to ensure continued accreditation of the first educational health center in this country that serves the care of our residents on a daily basis,” Olavaria Cruz expressed in written statements.

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We have already anticipated the potential effects of budget cuts on the accreditation of our academic programmes. He added that this is the message that the university students carried and will continue to deliver to the members of the Legislative Council and the Financial Supervisory Board in order to ensure the allocation of a fair budget to the university.

No other UPR campus has received feedback from the accreditation body.

The President of the General Council of Medical Sciences Students, Juan Jose de Jesus Oquendo, confirmed that the student sector has warned of the risks faced by the units due to the austerity measures imposed by the Council.

“It is very worrying … if the government does not allocate the budget for the UPR, for the campus of medical sciences, it could threaten the sustainability of the institution. Loss of accreditation, in the case of medical sciences, would be a blow not only to the educational system in the country,” said de Jesus Oquendo. Puerto Rico, but also a massive blow to the health system.”

Medical Sciences will have to submit a report by September 1 showing that they are in line with the standards and requirements for membership of the Middle States. After delivery, a team from the accreditation agency can visit the site.

“The commission’s actions reflect the changing landscape in the higher education community, but the shoe remains a student-centered commitment, which is reflected in the increasingly complex nature of its work and the decisions that have been made,” Central States President Dr. Heather V. Perfetti said in written statements.

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Virtual meeting of the middle countries team With representatives of the university administration to discuss the situation in medical sciences in November last year was embroiled in controversy due to the absence of the vice president government council, the failure to invite other members of the Board of Directors and the criticism leveled by the Evaluation Committee. At the time, it emerged that the chair of the Evaluation Committee in Medical Sciences, Pedro Uribe, questioned the UPR’s interest in maintaining campus accreditation.

As a result of that meeting, this journal documented evaluators’ concerns about campus compliance with Standard VI, which relates to planning and financial resources. This turned out to be precisely one of the areas of non-compliance that the Central Powers had indicated when issuing their warning.

“In compliance with federal policies and regulations, the Commission shall provide notification of non-compliance actions to the United States Secretary of Education, the relevant state licensing or authorizing agencies, and the appropriate accrediting agencies at the same time it is notified,” Perfetti said in the letter notifying the president of the University of Medical Sciences of the decision. .

The department has 60 days from the date the decision was made to refute any information that may be inaccurate.

In 2019, medical sciences Received a final warning from the accreditation agency To show why its accreditation was not withdrawn given the challenges facing the entire university system, evidenced by the delay in completing its audited financial statements. This is despite the fact that it was one of three state university units not placed on probation in 2017. All UPR campuses I got out of control He regained full accreditation in June 2019, but at that time it was announced that Medical Sciences would conduct internal assessments in the 2021 school year.

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In April last year, the Accreditation Council for Medical Graduate Education (ACGME) announced that medical sciences would lose out, as of June 30 this year, Accreditation of the Neurosurgery Residency Program. Months later, campus management decided it would not appeal the ACGME’s decision and that it would close the residency program this summer, with the goal of creating a new accredited program within a year or two.

Moreover, last June, it turned out that the management Suspended Associate Degree Program in Radiology Technology which has been placed under supervision by the Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiological Technology.