Saturday, October 30, 2010

U.P. Faculty Regent’s Updates on the October 28 Board of Regents’ Meeting

By Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo

Faculty Regent’s Updates on the October 28 Board of Regents’ Meeting
October 29, 2010

The regular monthly meeting of the BOR was held last October 28 at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman. Only seven of the 11 board members were present: President Emerlinda Roman, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, Alumni Regent Gladys Tiongco, Regent Nelia Gonzales, Student Regent Cori Alessa Co, Staff Regent Buboy Cabrera and I. Chair Licuanan and Senator Angara were out of the country on official business. Regent Chua was not present and Malacanang has not named a new Regent in place of Regent Sarmiento who passed away last October 3 in Prague, Czech Republic, where he was visiting his daughter, the current Philippine Ambassador to that country.

Here is my update on significant items of the meeting. Staff Regent Buboy Cabrera said he will make the report on the discussion of the Sagad award and the additional 10 days sick leave benefits for REPS and administrative staff.

1. Search for the next UP President: The November 19 BOR meeting to select the new UP President was reiterated. The interview by the Board of the 11 nominees will be held the day before or on November 18.

2. Faculty Regent Selection process: Vice President for Academic Affairs Amelia Guevara reported to the Board the results of the first round of nomination for the Faculty Regent Selection. The 2011-2012 Faculty Regent will come from UP Los Banos. The top five nominees and their votes during the first round are the following:

Teodoro Mendoza --- 428
Ida Dalmacio ----------- 159
Salvador Catelo ------- 100
Jezie Acorda ------------ 35
Felino Lansigan and Rita Laude ---30

The breakdown per CU of the first round of nomination showed that Dr. Mendoza topped the nomination in all six constituent universities except at the OU where he got one out of four votes.

The names of those going into the second round of nominations (meaning those who accepted the nominations) will be known by the first week of November. The actual voting which will select the next Faculty Regent will be on November 15 to 18, 2010 on the dates specified by the administration of the various CUs.

The rules for this selection prohibit campaigning by the nominees. Deans may however invite the nominees to talk to the faculty if they so desire. It is therefore important for us to read the CVs and vision statements of the nominees once they are uploaded on the UP website for us to make an informed choice of our next representative to the Board of Regents.

1. UP Budget: The P1.39 billion budget cut for the 2011 UP budget remains as of second reading in the HOR. Rep. Angara requested President Roman to submit priority items that may be included when the House committee deliberates on possible insertions to the budget. President Roman said she will do so and emphasized the need for additional MOOE for PGH whose budget has been cut. The budget deliberations will continue once Congress resumes sessions on November 8.

1. Appointments of officials:

Dean, School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), UPD—Prof. Johann Frederick A. Cabbab
Dean, College of Social Work and Community Development, UPD—Dr. Rosalinda Pineda-Ofreneo
Director, National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, UPD—Dr. Cynthia T. Hedreyda (third term)

5. COA report on the UP Mindanao Chancellor: As I shared with you in my September update on BOR meeting, the concern raised regarding the overspending in the 2007 investiture of the UP Mindanao chancellor was tabled for the next meeting. The Commission on Audit in Davao City in its August 23, 2010 “Report on the Special Audit /Investigation Conducted of the University of the Philippines Mindanao “ found that that Chancellor Rivero had overspent by P269,584.67 or by 72% of the approved budget investiture budget of P374,216. The report ended with the recommendation that the UP Mindanao Chancellor should “ be admonished to prioritize the allocation of its funds on U.P.-Min's mandated purposes.” (For a copy of the August 2010 COA report, please see http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com/2010/09/commission-on-audit-criticizes-up.html). The Presidents of the UP Mindanao chapters of the All UP Workers Union and the All UP Academic Employees Union as well as the Chair of the UP Mindanao Student Council wrote “strongly urging” the Board to:
“Let Dr. Rivero personally restitute the excess amount spend during her investiture, amounting to PhP269,584.67. It is clear from the breakdown of this amount that the expenses were extravagant, unnecessary, or personal (i.e., expenses of her guests); Recall Dr. Rivero’s appointment as chancellor of UP Mindanao based on moral integrity and misuse of limited funds; to whom much is given, much is expected in terms of accountability;
Translate “admonish” into specific sanction for Chancellor Rivero.“

President Roman said that Chancellor Rivero had appealed the decision of the COA and the COA Mindanao report has not been officially transmitted to the University. The Board should recognize the right of the Chancellor to due process before taking any action.

1. Implementation of the May 27,2010 BOR decision granting the appeal for tenure of Prof. Sarah Raymundo: Sarah Raymundo remains without any teaching appointment over five months since the BOR decision. The Department of Sociology continues to refuse to prepare her appointment papers. Other options for Sarah Raymundo have been explored but none has led to any possibility that she will be able to teach this second semester.
2. Tenure issue of UP Cebu Professor Roberto Basadre : Prof. Basadre has fulfilled all the requirements for tenure and has been recommended by the UPV Cebu College Academic Personnel Committee for tenure last September 4, 2009. The Dean of the UPV Cebu College overruled the recommendation for tenure on the grounds of the possible reorganization of UP Cebu High School. Instead the waiver rule (extending the temporary appointment of a faculty, usually used to allow time for faculty members’ publication to come out) was used to extend his temporary appointment twice in a row. With the creation of UP Cebu College as an autonomous unit under the Office of the President, the tenure recommendation of the CAPC remains unacted and Prof. Basadre is in danger of losing his teaching assignment when his temporary appointment ends in May 31, 2011. In fact the UP Cebu College Dean wrote that :

I again raised the issue in the October 28 BOR meeting and observed that the creation of UP Cebu College would have as its victim Prof. Basadre. President Roman said she will clarify this with Dean Avila of UP Cebu College.

Other items deferred for future deliberations:
1. The UP Administration recommended that the “computation of the sick leave benefits of those faculty extended beyond age 65 be based on the salary of actual retirement date instead of the salary at age 65.”  The Staff Regent asked for a deferment of approval so that information on the possibility of extending this to administrative staff and REPS could be explored. I also asked for deferment until the information on the names and number of faculty who would benefit from this policy and the financial implication of such extension be provided to the Board. My request for deferment is also based on the fact that the UP Administration has objected (on account of lack of money) to extending to faculty members who have reached the ceiling of their ranks as Assistant Professor or Associate Professor to cross ranks outside of the regular call for promotion. This policy of crossing ranks outside of the call for promotion currently applies only to faculty members who are about to retire.
2. Professor Emeritus: I was provided a copy of the September 24 letter to the UP System Committee on Professor Emeritus written by seven professors of the Land and Water Resources Division of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering regarding the nomination of Dr. Wilfredo David, former UPLB Chancellor, as Professor Emeritus in Agricultural Engineering. That letter also pointed out that the college recommendation “to extend the services of Dr. David for one year beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65 years was not favorably acted upon by the present UPLB administration.”

On October 20, I requested to have this item on the agenda of the BOR meeting. Prior to the October 28 BOR meeting, the OSU provided me a copy of the October 21 letter of Vice President Guevara, who heads the system committee on professor emeritus , to the UPLB professors. In that letter, VP Guevara explained that the “UP System committee evaluates only the nominations endorsed by the Chancellors, upon the recommendation of their respective CU committees on Professor Emeritus”. In the same letter, VP Guevara informed the professors that “Dr. Wilfredo P. David was not nominated by UPLB Chancellor Rey Velasco. In his letter, Chancellor Velasco informed our office that “Four faculty retirees with the rank of full professors were evaluated by the UPLB Committee on Professor Emeritus but the Committee believes that none of them qualifies to be nominated to the prestigious nomination.”

During the BOR meeting, VP Guevara further explained that the Dean of the College to which Dr. David used to be connected did not recommend him for Professor Emeritus. I said that there are several concerns emerging from this issue:

  • The need for transparency on the criteria for selection of professor emeritus and the composition of the committee tasked to make the recommendations; (I have been provided a copy of the criteria used by UP Diliman for the professor emeritus nomination but none from UPLB)
  • The need to inform faculty members nominated for professor emeritus but who were not awarded the title the reason for such decision. Those nominated for professor emeritus belong to a small group of distinguished professors of the university and they at least deserve to be informed of the reason why they have not been awarded the title.

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