Your NPR news source

Puerto Ricanstruction: University Professors Uniting Against Austerity

SHARE Puerto Ricanstruction: University Professors Uniting Against Austerity

People carry a large Puerto Rican flag as they protest looming austerity measures amid an economic crisis and demand an audit on the island’s debt to identify those responsible, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, May 1, 2017. Puerto Rico is preparing to cut public employee benefits, increase tax revenue, hike water rates and privatize government operations, among other things.

Danica Coto

Most of Puerto Rico’s public institutions have been facing harsh scrutiny since 2016. That’s when President Obama appointed a board of experts to deal with over $100 billion that the government owed to mostly private creditors. Among other austerity measures, oversight board proposes the University of Puerto Rico close seven of its eleven campuses and double its tuition. The move was postponed because of Hurricane Maria, but almost a year later, the board’s austerity measures are looking likely to go forward. A group of professors at the University have launched a lawsuit against the control board to keep the university from radical cuts. We’re joined by one of those professors, Evaluz Cotto-Quijano, of the College of Business Administration. She was in town as a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago where she researched the effect of austerity against Puerto Rico’s cooperative credit unions. Cotto joins Worldview to discuss the professors’ lawsuit and the banking sector in Puerto Rico.

More From This Show