Comunidad y Universidad: Spaces of Decoloniality in Boricua Public Higher Education


  • Lorainne I. Rodríguez-Vargas Azusa Pacific University
  • Christopher S. Collins Azusa Pacific University


Decoloniality, Community Engagement, Public Higher Education, Boricua Higher Education


The history of Boricuas on the archipelago is intertwined with the history of the institutions of learning. In the archipelago of Puerto Rico, public higher education faces challenges that include managing the aftermath of natural disasters, a global pandemic, and system-wide budget cuts. This study presents an opportunity to critically explore the complexities of the relationship between contemporary colonial contexts as framed by laws and policies, as well as larger aspects of coloniality through power hierarchies within public higher education. This study implemented qualitative inquiry through document analysis of government documents, University of Puerto Rico faculty generated documents, and campus-level documents. This research focuses on faculty-led spaces of decoloniality within pubic higher education. 


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Author Biographies

Lorainne I. Rodríguez-Vargas, Azusa Pacific University

Lorainne I. Rodríguez-Vargas, MS, is a Boricua from Jayuya, Puerto Rico and  scholar-practitioner of Higher Education. Her background includes a bachelors in Industrial Microbiology and a masters in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. As a practitioner her work focuses on Latinx student success, STEM student success, community college success practices, community outreach, and academic affairs and research. As a scholar and PhD candidate of higher education her work includes expanding the knowledge on power hierarchies and the influence of coloniality in Boricua higher education.

Christopher S. Collins, Azusa Pacific University

Christopher S. Collins, PhD, studies the function of higher education and the production of knowledge in diverse and global settings. His research projects on this topic have included studies of the World Bank and poverty reduction, the social value of higher education in the Asia Pacific region, and indigenous sciences in Hawaii. He works closely with dissertation students to think deeply about cognitive justice and the interdependence and ecology of knowledges. He has completed more than 50 scholarly products (books, journal articles, and chapters), including his latest book, White Evolution: The Constant Struggle for Racial Consciousness (Peter Lang Publishing, 2020), coauthored with fellow APU professor Alexander Jun.



How to Cite

Lorainne I. Rodríguez-Vargas, & Christopher S. Collins. (2023). Comunidad y Universidad: Spaces of Decoloniality in Boricua Public Higher Education. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 15(1). Retrieved from



Empirical Article