Thursday, February 10, 2011

20th U.P. President reveals vision, while 19th U.P. President defends record during Feb. 10 turnover ceremonies at U.P. Diliman

(Alfredo E. Pascual, U.P.'s 20th President, gives a speech during
turnover ceremonies on Feb. 10, 2011 at Quezon Hall)

By Chanda Shahani

University of the Philippines (U.P.) President Alfredo E. Pascual today asserted his vision as the 20th U.P. President of the U.P. System for the next six years in a speech during turnover ceremonies today with the 19th U.P. President, Dr. Emerlinda Roman at Quezon Hall, U.P. Diliman.

Dr. Roman turned over the University Mace to President Pascual in simple ceremonies. She also gave a speech defending her record, and citing her administration's accomplishments. The University Mace is the symbol of the U.P. Presidency.

President Pascual said that under his administration, U.P.'s plans and programs will be guided by the vision statement that accompanied his acceptance of the nomination for the U.P. Presidency and will act as his guide for the next six years (to read Mr. Pascual's vision statement, please click on:

He said that the key points of his vision for U.P. included:  
  • U.P. needs to remain relevant to the times. Pascual said that as the national university, U.P. needs to give major importance to the national agenda. Citing U.P.'s historic commitment of service to the Filipino nation, he said U.P. needed to provide a "fertile ground" in which to properly take care of its people in the sciences and the arts. He said it was through innovation that U.P. could become a global player in the 21st century.
  • On research. U.P. needed to upgrade its research and development (R&D) capability. R&D will also allow U.P. to contribute to national development by finding innovative solutions to the country's problems and also provide solution to industries. U.P. can introduce technology-based products that can spur job creation, he said. New research findings can be made accessible to the public by communicating them in jargon-free language, he said. He also said that U.P. would protect its researchers' intellectual properties.
  • On faculty and staff. In order to recruit the best possible staff, it was necessary for U.P. to have incentives and professional development programs in order to attract the best and the brightest, both from inside and outside U.P. He said that part and parcel of this will be to review U.P.'s compensation system, with a special emphasis on non-cash benefits, such as housing and healthcare. He also said performance-based incentives will be explored.
  • On U.P.'s students. While U.P. can only admit the best high school graduates, he said steps needed to be taken to democratize admission. He said that U.P. would work with local political leaders in preparing top high school graduates in the provinces to compete for U.P. admission. 
  • In a fast-changing world, U.P. students needed to be trained to be competitive. Curricular reviews will ensure that U.P. students "develop the capacity for critical thinking; for continued learning; and for effectively dealing with ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty."
  • Raising tuition fees in undergraduate and research programs would not be U.P.'s default solution, even if it is badly in need of funds. "We shall strengthen our scholarship and financial assistance programs to provide adequate and timely need-based support," he said.
  • U.P. students needed to be prepared to assume roles of leadership when they graduate, he said. U.P. would ensure that its curricula and teaching methods respond to those needs. He said the general education program needed to be strengthened so that U.P. students could develop broader perspectives and  a "cross-disciplinary orientation, sound ethical standards, the values of good citizenship and hopefully, a strong bias for serving the country."
  • On financial sustainability. He said that under R.A. 9500 which is the U.P. Charter, U.P. can sidestep the Salary Standardization Law and give competitive salaries for its faculty. However, he said that U.P. needed to obtain sufficient cash flow beyond its annual budget. He said that U.P. could build up sizeable endowment funds as well as implement sufficient revenue generating activities.
  • On generating funds. President Pascual said that his banking experience showed that good, bankable projects seldom have problems getting funded. He said that correspondingly, U.P. would formulate projects and programs very well in order to attract funders  such as donors, investors or international institutions. He said R.A. 9500 provided up to 150% tax deductibility for donations to U.P. which can help attract donors.
  • On government funding. President Pascual said that the strategy for U.P. would be to package itself as a key player in national development in order to build its case with the government for long-term funding commitments.
  • The development of idle U.P. properties. President Pascual said that while commercialization of education was not acceptable, the commercialization of U.P.'s assets was needed, as it was a land grant university with 18,000 hectares in idle lands. He said the development of these assets in partnership with the private sector would generate extra revenues for U.P. Pascual said the proper financial controls would be observed in order to ensure the revenues from these assets were not dissipated. Nevertheless, these revenues should not replace the annual appropriations provided by the government and as assured in the U.P. Charter.
  • On alumni. President Pascual said the U.P. alumni were an "untapped resource for funds and expertise." He said, "We shall make our alumni feel they are valued members of the Our goal is to promote to our alumni a culture of giving back to the university."
  • On efficient administration. Citing the need for U.P. to use its raised funds efficiently, he said that he would make sure that wasteful expenditures were checked, and that administrative processes such as procurement and hiring were expedited. He said that the use of information and communications technology to reduce voluminous paperwork is necessary. He also said there were opportunities for U.P. to save on power bills. Creative use of technology and regular training would help improve things as well, he said.
  • Democratic governance. President Pascual promised to "observe the principles of democratic governance based  on collegiality, representation, transparency, predictability, and accountability. In the management of funds and other resources entrusted to the University, responsible stewardship and ethical conduct shall additionally characterize good governance."
"With the faculty, research and administrative staff, students and alumni joining hands with us to move the University forward, I am sure we will make much headway with our vision."
    "The Office of the President will keep its communication lines open to the U.P. community. I would love to hear your views, comments and suggestions."

    "I now call on my team: let us go to work and lead in this quest making U.P. a great university - the best in the country and one of the best in Asia and the world."

    To read the full text of President Pascual's speech, please click on this link:

    (Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, U.P.'s 19th President, gives a speech 
    during turnover ceremonies on Feb. 10, 2011 at Quezon Hall)

    Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, U.P.'s 19th President, cites her accomplishments and defends her record

    “Six years ago on this same day, at this exact same spot, I participated in a turnover ceremony. The difference was that I was on the receiving end of the turnover then. At that time, my secret wish on that day was that I would be able to finish my six year term. Today, that wish has been granted, because in a little while, I shall be at the other end, turning over the authority of the office to Fred Pascual,” Dr. Roman said in her turnover speech.

    She said that she had been guided by the principles of leadership, academic freedom and service to the university. She also said she had the benefit of advice from 3 U.P. Presidents: Edgardo Angara, Jose Abueva and Francisco Nemenzo.

    She said it was her ten 10 point agenda that guided her and her cabinet throughout her six-year term. She also said that she was passing on her end of term report to Mr. Pascual (to read the report, please click on this link:

    Dr. Roman said her end of term report listed the accomplishments and were a function of the collective leadership of the university for the last 6 years. “I alone would not have been able to do much without them,” she said, adding that she benefitted immensely from the support of regents, chancellors, vice-presidents, directors, staff, faculty students and alumni.

    She said that the highlights of her administration's accomplishments were in four areas:

    Read the rest here:

    The full text of  Dr. Roman's turnover speech can be accessed from this link:

    (Photos by: Chanda Shahani)

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