Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CONTEND's Statement on the Eve of the BOR Meeting to Select the New UP Diliman Chancellor

Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy



In the era of intensifying penetration of neoliberal capitalist logic into all areas of social life and with corporatization creeping into the academic ivory tower, producing nomadic youth who are supposed to work anywhere and everywhere around the globe; and the re-orientation of education to mere social efficiency, the University of the Philippines needs a Chancellor who can lead Diliman to reconsider and emphasize its task for theIskolar ng Bayan and national development with transparency, accountability and democratic governance. CONTEND finds such vision in Dean Roland Tolentino.

CONTEND has always stood for democracy and social justice. We are fortunate to have as our chairperson, Dean Rolando Tolentino. As chairperson of CONTEND, Dean Tolentino spearheaded numerous activities that addressed pressing social issues such as faculty tenure, welfare of students and employees, and even national issues that impinge on the life of the University such as budget cuts to education, human rights violations, gender issues, massive electoral fraud and freedom of the press. As colleagues and comrades of Dean Tolentino, we can strongly attest to his unwavering active struggle against local, national and global injustices.

Dean Tolentino’s unwavering commitment to the betterment of the University and the nation is equally matched by his impeccable track record as an administrator, as a well known and revered teacher and mentor, as a public intellectual doing extension work in behalf of the University, and as a critic of Philippine popular culture and society. As members of CONTEND, we believe that these qualities are necessary for effective academic leadership in UP Diliman.

CONTEND has always been steadfast in its commitment to the national good and the struggle against all forms of oppression. It is in this spirit, that we shall remain vigilant of university policies that trample upon student, faculty and workers rights. We shall work with critical and principled engagement with the next UP Diliman Chancellor. We call on the esteemed members of the Board of Regents to give the University of the Philippines the necessary opportunity to start anew and learn from the basic sectors of our University as they seriously call for an end to the Roman Empire. We demand that the new administration practice good governance, transparency and accountability.

Dean Roland Tolentino’s current bid for Chancellorship is unprecedented in the history of UP Diliman. Dean Tolentino is a renowned and respected radical public intellectual who has expressed his willingness to serve the University in ways that are critical and innovative. His positioning on national and university issues are not anathema to the vision statement of the current president. We are affronted that those who were against the selection of the current UP president are using issues against Dean Tolentino which were similar ro the issues they raised against President Pascual.

The selection of Dean Tolentino as UP Diliman Chancellor by the Board of Regents will be consistent with its selection of President Pascual. Dean Tolentino as Chancellor will be a strong pillar in fostering democratic governance in the University and in realizing the ideal of liberal education for which UP is well known—ideals severely compromised under the previous administration.

We, members of the Congress of Teachers for Nationalism and Democracy, pledge our support to Dean Rolando Tolentino and our commitment to continue to work within the spaces of the University to promote a nationalist, scientific and mass oriented education. That we shall continue to expose and oppose all forms of anti-student, anti-faculty and anti-worker policies and programs are only the initial but necessary steps in fostering the values of honor, excellence and social justice that only a public university for public service can advance in the service of our people.

End the Roman Empire in UP-Diliman!

Dean Rolando Tolentino for Chancellor!

Let us work together to make the University of the Philippines a Public University for Public Service!

MARCH 1, 2011

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