March 3, 2021

Elections to rector of the ULPGC: Rafael Robaina – Lluis Serra

How is the electoral campaign going, what message does the university community transmit to you?

Robaina: Compared to other campaigns, my feelings are being very positive. The previous time I did not perceive firm and determined support, this time they are giving it to me and what you take with you because you need courage, the truth, to continue and to continue advancing.

Serra: The campaign is going well, what happens is that we are in a pandemic and it makes things much less affective, less close, with the mask, the blended meetings … I like to sit with people and look them in the eye, It is the way I understand communication, but we have to adapt to this. My feeling is that people want me to listen to them and explain their real problems, because they tell us that they have not been heard for many years. We have an extraordinary human capital in the ULPGC, with these people we can go to the moon.

In the middle of the campaign, what is the feeling, is there room to capture votes or do you think that everything is already decided?

A: If you pass black on white the possible support that you have, there is still a lot of space and I think that many people wait to visit your center, to see and compare the programs, there are groups that take longer to enter the campaign than others, and you have to keep insisting. It is still split.

S: I do not know. We play at a disadvantage because we do not have the power, but I am continually receiving emails and information and summons for meetings. We have run a different campaign, without getting into people’s privacy, and with more limitations, especially the media, and this can also have an influence. With the team we got the idea of ​​the commitments for the first hundred days the other day, I listened to Biden, and I said we are going to do the first hundred days instead of the last hundred days, which is Robaina’s campaign, and that’s it. they have copied it to us.

“The lack of illusion is a classic in campaigns, I don’t know what they are based on”

Rafael Robaina Romero – Professor of Plant Physiology


Serra bases his campaign on discontent or lack of enthusiasm on the part of the university community; while Robaina supports it in experience as a strength to face the crisis that will precede this pandemic. What do you think about each other’s strategy?

A: The lack of illusion is a classic in campaigns and I don’t know what they are based on. I have always said without upsetting anyone what illusion someone who is going to climb a scaffold must have, our work is precious, that they pay us is even incredible for doing what we like, I never have been disappointed. bought. I refer to the tests of how things could be moved forward at the worst moment of the pandemic, if there were no illusion or commitment, that no rector could have fixed it. And about discontent, of course, when a decision is made there is always someone who does not like it and creates some kind of discomfort. I don’t want to tell you about the ones we had to take during the pandemic, that has not been to the liking, many times not even mine, so of course there is discontent. I and my team are human and we will make mistakes like anyone who agrees to the position of rector because they are not perfect, what you have to have is the will to correct.

S: This self-complacency by Robaina and his team is very dangerous because we have to be able to recognize the things that have not gone as we expected, for whatever reasons. To make a good diagnosis you have to be able to give good and bad news, also recognize the latter and take the appropriate measures. It seems that they are reluctant to see that there is an important part of the university community that is not happy, that it has not been listened to, and that not only the substance but the way of governing has not liked. Robaina has governed through another person, not directly, this direct human relationship with the community has been lost and all this ultimately takes its toll, and also by the management. What we want is deep reforms, a strategic thinking in the medium and long term so that the University is not always putting out fires and a different spirit, to listen, to reach out, to be close, and above all to have a role again engine of society. To believe in sustainability it is not necessary to wear a badge of the SDGs, it is like carrying a Spanish flag to feel Spanish.

“The self-complacency so established by Robaina and his team is very dangerous”

Lluis Serra Majem – Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health


Has the ULPGC lost projection and social leadership?

A: I do not think so, in fact we have contributed during this period to the rescue of the social leadership that our University has, with a reinforcement with public institutions, and we have been able to lead projects, both internally and externally in the closest African geographical area, establishing ourselves in the University of reference for Macaronesia and the African Northwest as in the RUP. Doing another reading of that local and international deployment is not seeing reality.

S: If it has been lost, possibly because we have been left with a slightly outdated speech. We have not been able to establish two-way communication channels with society, because we have not been sensitive enough to adapt to the needs that society itself demanded of us. The University has to be an interlocutor with all governments in emerging areas, and we must be able to communicate and teach all the potential that we have in the ULPGC to the whole of society.

The pandemic has brought with it a hybrid model of teaching, do you bet to continue in this sense, or do you defend the return to face-to-faceity?

R: Clearly return to the presence in its maximum splendor and if it is improved, do everything possible so that the presence of students on campus intensifies. That said, there are elements of the pandemic and the intensification of the use of technology that are very interesting because we can use them for a change in the model of education, training to use technology and that there is a paradigm shift from mere transmission of knowledge when learning to learn and that students are more autonomous than they are now.

S: The return to the presence, I have it very clear, the students and the teachers are looking forward to it. That does not mean that our teletraining offer continues to evolve, strengthen. We have to return to the presence and replace the term of teaching load by teaching activity. I think that you have to give classes and presence is our reason for being and existing as ULPGC, that does not mean that we cannot do semi-presential degrees for people from other islands. But our DNA is presence.

Robaina: “Neither the University nor the times, are for rehearsals, they are to stabilize”


What is the recipe for solving the problem of aging workforces and the high degree of temporary employment, both among teaching and research staff as well as administration and services staff?

A: Both templates are the same but having the same problems, in the PAS much less effort has been made in the past so that the imbalance is enormous. In the last legislature there was an increase since 2017 of 12% in the funding for the cost of personnel, both for the PAS and the PDI, which translates into newly created and replacement positions, some 300 in the PDI and hundreds of positions for stabilization in the PAS, where investments of almost 1.5 million euros have been made. This has to be noticed in the staff in the coming years and what you have to do is continue to insist on this, scratching funding from where you can, be firm before the Government. We must take advantage, for example, of reconstruction funds for education, make them understand that higher education is the same education as the other segments and that an investment is made and we fundamentally use them for these purposes.

S: Of course resorting to the program contract, but the fundamental thing, with respect to the PAS and it can also be applied to the PDI, is that the hiring solutions are discussed at the negotiation tables, that they do not resort to the judicial route, because then we already entered in a judicialization of the university route and there we all lose. By reducing labor disputes with the PAS, we improve management processes, because work is much more comfortable, with greater fluidity and we end up winning all. With the PDI, the important thing is to have new people who come to the University, who are willing to do a research career starting with doctorates, that we are also able to permanently hire people who have been dedicating themselves to the University for a long time. teaching in our environment, especially in those areas that are more priority, and also offer the possibility of programs to attract talent in specific areas.

What actions do you have already listed in that Agenda of the first 100 days?

A: We have a continuation task of what we have been doing and the things we wanted to start up, with which the hundred days are not even going to be needed, it is a matter of the next day for many of the areas. The new areas do need a start-up and that excites us, but the most important thing is the commitments that we have acquired with the representations of the teaching staff, the students, and the PAS for the first hundred days, or to consolidate a schedule of the agreed, or review and implement them as is the case of the negotiation of the Rules of Academic Organization.

S: I would highlight a priori to undertake an analysis of the PAS staff – Administration and Services Personnel – in order to advance solutions for the problems, among others, of staffing of the units and of temporary and interim stability; start working on the first draft of the planning of the human resources of the Teaching and Research Staff (PDI) for the period 2021-2025; and carry out a planning of activities for the academic year 2021/22 that include orientation actions for new students, ICT advice, training in digital skills and preparation for job placement.

Serra: “Robaina has governed through another person, direct contact with the community has been lost”


What message would you like to convey to the university community?

A: That in a realistic way, neither the University nor the times are now for rehearsals, they are to stabilize, to maintain and the experience becomes more fundamental than ever. And with that experience we can weather the storm that will come to us in the first two years of government, and at the same time work in a complementary manner so that in the last two we can lead the future. Leading what is required of the University of the XXI century, which is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, with its government, and with the structural funds for the reconstruction of our earth, in terms of sustainability, digitization, equality, training for the employment, and above all, that our research, which is good, also serves to generate economy, which is a pending issue.

S: What we are pursuing is a University with a social projection, which is the engine of job creation and of society itself, and therefore the transfer of research is very important. We need a rejuvenated, inclusive University that is sustainable, that is very excited, that has newer structures, more international, with a more current degree map. And that in some way it is open to society and the community, and above all with a government that listens, that takes the pulse of the needs of society and of the members of the university community, and that is why we are here.


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