Education

Ana G. Méndez University System rebranding, streamlining operations

The Ana G. Méndez University System is analyzing and evaluating unifying its brands — potentially doing away with the Universidad del Turabo, Universidad Metropolitana and Universidad del Este names — as well as streamlining its Puerto Rico operation, which has allegedly felt the pinch from dwindling enrollment, this media outlet learned.

According to a university source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the three campuses belonging to the SUAGM — as the local college system is known in Spanish — will all be known as Universidad Ana G. Méndez in Puerto Rico.

“The Ana G. Méndez University System [SUAGM] is in a process of analysis and evaluation for the unification of the brands of the institutions that make up the organization,” said María A. Martínez-Rodríguez, associate vice president of public relations for the SUAGM.

“However, at this time we’re making the pertinent arrangements with the licensing and accreditation agencies, as well as other corresponding agencies. For this reason, we can’t make final expressions about it,” she said.

The Ana G. Méndez University System is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. According to the regulator’s website, the local college must hand in a report regarding the status of the institution by Aug. 1, 2018, after which “a small team” from the Middle States Commission may visit.

The Universidad del Este received accreditation in 1959, Universidad del Turabo in 1974 and Universidad Metropolitana in 1980.

U.S. campuses thriving
While enrollment has allegedly dropped at its Puerto Rico campuses, the Ana G. Méndez system has experienced growth at its stateside university centers, particularly those in Florida — Metro Orlando Campus, Tampa Bay Campus and its South Florida Campus — as a result of the massive out-migration the island has experienced in recent years, the source said.

Ana G. Méndez expanded into the U.S. mainland in 2003, and also has campuses in Maryland and Dallas, Texas.

As a result of the local drop in student activity, the SUAGM is also allegedly reviewing a staff reduction, potentially eliminating positions in marketing, its general plant and professors with more than 15 years of service, the source said.

“The reduction in enrollment has affected Puerto Rico, while in Florida, the SUAGM plans to expand,” the source further noted.

Attempts to get more details on that aspect of the SUAGM’s plans were unsuccessful, as requests went unanswered. The only “official” comments the college system provided were those cited above.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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