Cardinal challenged over university appointment27 November 2012
Students and staff at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP) have been on strike since 13 November, in a dispute with the Grand Chancellor of the University, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, over the appointment of the new rector.
Cardinal Scherer, who is the Archbishop of São Paulo, departed from precedent and appointed as rector - a post roughly equivalent to vice-chancellor - the third-placed candidate on the list of three presented by the university community after an election by staff and students.
The university choice was a previous rector, law professor Dirceu de Mello, but the archbishop chose Professor Ana-Maria Cintra, from the department of Portuguese, who was defeated both by Professor Dirceu de Mello and history professor Francisco Serralvo.
Cardinal Scherer has given no reason for his decision, but it is being suggested that he wishes to bring the PUC more closely into line with the Vatican's guidelines for Catholic universities.
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