Dr. Jorge Iván Vélez Arocho
Awarded 2005 LACCEI Academic Merit Medal
Dr. Jorge Iván Vélez Arocho was born and grew up in the small town of Lares in Puerto Rico in the sanctuary of a family of profound and extraordinary human, religious, educational, and moral values that formed the foundations that made him a great distinguished citizen of all the Americas. He is married to Prof. Digna de los Angeles Hernández and has two lovely daughters, Angeles María and María Eugenia.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1970 and a master’s degree in 1973 from the University of Puerto Rico. Then he earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration in 1978 from the University of Florida in the USA. He joined the College of Business Administration of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez in 1978 where he remains as a Full Professor.
Since 2002 he has served as the Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, the most prestigious technological university in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and a well known university in the USA. As the ultimate authority of this important university, he is responsible for leading four colleges (Business Administration, Art and Sciences, Agricultural Science, and Engineering), and for supervising over 2000 employees and over 12,000 undergraduate and over 500 graduate students.
He has participated, promoted, developed and led multiple academic and scientific projects for the benefits of the international community, with emphasis in Latin-America and the Caribbean. Among them the Coalition for Engineering Education with universities from the USA; the Caribbean Conference on Global Awareness in the Curriculum; the Alliance for Spatial and Computational Research (PaSCoR); the Professional Development in Business Administration, Sciences, and Engineering; the Program for the Development of Strategic Tools for the Processes of Vital Businesses in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica; Workshops on Learning Strategies and Alliances for the Education in Manufacturing Engineering in México and Rio de Janeiro; and National and International Workshops on ABET Accreditation.
As the Co-Director of the Hemispheric Center for the Cooperation and Education in Engineering and Applied Sciences (Co-Hemis), he helps promote and develop an important network of more than 40 universities and research centers in the USA and Latin America
through bilateral agreements within the Co-Hemis Consortium; and helps publish the Co-Hemis bulletin four times a year in English and Spanish for dissemination throughout Latin-America and the United States, helping the coordination of important hemispheric conferences and seminars. He also has developed important relations among U.S. Federal agencies and research foundations, and Nationals Councils on Science and Technology in hemispheric countries.
He has been the recipient of many honors and recognitions by academic, professional, religious, civic, sport, commercial and government organizations. He has rendered many services to social and religious institutions. He has disseminated his teaching, professional, and research experiences in national and international conferences and publications.
We herein highlight the outstanding merits of Dr. Vélez Arocho’s contributions in strategic planning and management of education, research, and professional development, fields that have become his institutional mission for the benefit of students, Puerto Rico, and our allied institutions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.