“Everyone has a share. Everyone has a stake.” –Dr. Mariano

“Everyone has a share. Everyone has a stake.” –Dr. Mariano

by UA&P News Desk on July 7, 2011 - 12:04 pm

President Jose Maria Mariano’s address in the University Assembly last June 15, 2011 at the Li Seng Giap Auditorium, University of Asia and the Pacific

Members of the Board and of the Management Committee, School Deans and Executive Directors, my colleagues in the faculty and the administrative staff, guests, students, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Unity in university work

Since its founding in 1967 as the Center for Research and Communication, UA&P has tried to be steadfast in its institutional pursuit of UNITASunity of knowledge, unity of life, and the rediscovery of the transcendent meaning of ordinary work, beginning with the common work that unites us here in our University.

In this tiny 2-hectare property, we have put our hearts and minds as an institution to our mission, reworded in keeping with the times, “to contribute to the integral human development of the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region.”   We claim that Asia and the Pacific await our contribution as university people.  That is quite a claim, as I was once more sharply reminded when I was invited recently to one of the getting-to-know-you receptions of the new Spanish Ambassador.  For that particular evening he invited the Presidents of the University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila, and La Salle University.  And so I found myself seated beside representatives of universities that are 400, 150, and 100 years old—and I from a university that by August next year will just complete its 45th year as an institution.

It is an honor for our University to be in a guest list that included the top universities of the country.  It is no less an honor to have as guests at our campus throughout the past school year foreign diplomats such as American Ambassador Harry Thomas, European Union Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao, and other ambassadors and consuls from the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.  All conveyed eagerness to identify programs and projects that they can partner with us, expressing in this way their confidence in our institutional mission and in our capacity to fulfil it.

Clearly, this vote of confidence, which at the same time implies great expectations from our University, presents to us also a formidable challenge.

We have articulated that challenge as our vision for 2018, with its triple theme of trailblazing—“identifying and developing areas of learning and education not already served extensively and excellently by others”; partnering—“collaborating with other institutions, including industry and business, with a genuine desire to learn and no less genuine desire to discover friends who share the same ideals”; and internationalizing—“grappling with international issues, taking part in global projects and in building global institutions, and thus preparing our students for an international job market”.

Among the key result areas highlighted during last year’s general assembly was the identification of milestones that translate these broad strokes into concrete objectives and realistic targets.  With your inputs, the school heads, executive directors, and managing directors drew up their contributions to the 2018 vision during our business planning cycle last school year.  We are happy to note that some trailblazers have already materialized, or have already begun, as I shall proceed to enumerate.

Trailblazers

In its fifth edition, the Tambuli Awards of our School of Communication attained a goal laid by our Board of Trustees to open the challenge of “the Tambuli ethos” to the wider region of Asia and the Pacific.  After seven years building a solid reputation as an award of note in Philippine advertising, the Tambuli Awards has succeeded in attracting partners in the region who recognize not merely the compatiblity but indeed the internal consistency and coherence between social values and business success.  Among the advertising campaigns presented to our panel of judges this year we had entries from India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.

The singular success of the Tambuli Awards—it is the only advertising awards given by academe—is witness to the fact that our School of Communication is now a recognized leader in IMC education in Asia.  This in turn has made possible the first international residency program of UA&P, with students spending three months of practicum in Singapore.  Capitalizing on all the experience from their IMC program, SMC is now completing plans that will allow us to put education in the field of media and entertainment management at the service of the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.

Our Center for Social Responsibility has also done trailblazing work in the field of corporate social responsibility. In 2001, UA&P became the first Philippine university to offer a mandatory subject on corporate social responsibility, or CSR, ahead of the CHED CMO 39 issued in 2006.  The Center’s innovative approach to CSR has been instrumental in forging partnerships and technical assistance with international agencies, most notably the World Bank (2003-2005), the British Embassy (2006 and 2008-2010), and the French Development Agency (2011).  This past school year, the Center organized Breakthrough Innovation Grant with Fisherman Foundation, SEVEN Fund, the Rotary Club of the Philippines, and the Asian Social Enterprise Incubator.  Also called “BIG”, the competition, which is now close to selecting the grand prize winner, will award up to twenty thousand US dollars to the most innovative business ideas that can have an impact on poverty alleviation in the Philippines.

In recent times, our long-standing tradition of social responsibility found concrete expression in the emerging global practice of sustainability—defined formally as the ability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. There too the Center’s trailblazing work in sustainability helped secure an elected seat in the Global Reporting Initiative, the foremost agency on sustainability reporting based in Amsterdam.  Mr Colin Hubo has been occupying this seat since 2007, and will continue till 2012.

Another trailblazer is now on its third year.  A few months back, we graduated our second batch of female entrepreneurs who formed part of the 10,000 Women initiative by Goldman Sachs, IESE Business School, and our School of Management.  Our experience in empowering underserved women by teaching them effective entrepreneurial skills can now serve us in good stead as our School of Management finalizes its plans to gain a much more significant leadership for its EM program than that program had when it was once the only entrepreneurial management program in the Philippines.

Synergy

The partnerships mentioned earlier highlight a second key result area singled out in last year’s university assembly—internal synergy—which proposes UA&P as a practical model for the ideals of unity and collaboration we are proposing to our external partners.

To highlight the importance of inter-unit cooperation and teamwork in the University, we have re-incorporated our forerunner, CRC, as a hallmark center for institutional research and communication and as an engine of interdisciplinary dialogue and institutional research in UA&P.  Once again, CRC is here with us to show our partners that the walls of UA&P are—far from enclosing an ivory tower—truly porous to the needs and concerns of our immediate community.  A significant early result of this move was the Caritas in Veritate Conference, which will continue to prod CRC to mine Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical for Christian solutions to social and economic problems.

The conference produced a book, compiling the papers presented at the conference.  Other books that CRC published last year include Fr Luis Lisa’s Romance and Revolution, which I hear is expecting windfall sales during Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary this year; and Dr Bernardo Villegas’ Positive Dimensions of Population Growth, one of our many pro-life contributions to the debate on the Reproductive Health Bill, for launching in July.

This re-incorporation of CRC with UA&P comes as a significant event as CRC—and therefore UA&P—approaches its 50th anniversary in 2017.

CRC also collaborated with our College of Arts and Sciences in hosting a conference for the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators, an association of the honorees of Metrobank’s Outstanding Teacher Awards.  After the event, we conferred with Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan on the future of high school and college education in the Philippines and pledged our commitment to advocacy for a seemless interface.

Students and alumni have also shown how much they can achieve with collaborative effort.  We have heard how BIGGKAS and its student-volunteers achieved for UA&P the highest recognition in Unilab’s Ideas Positive competition, in which the group won seed money for a sustainable social outreach project they are now pursuing at Brgy San Joaquin.

Another noteworthy event is the President’s Cup organized by some of the University’s alumni.  In coordination with the Office of Alumni Affairs, the President’s Cup continues to engage students and alumni to use their athletic skills and forge stronger bonds among themselves. The games give both groups a shared activity which, in the case of the alumni, keep them well connected and truly part of the life of UA&P.

And, to fortify school spirit among our students, CSA and CCO launched a competition to redesign our school mascot, Uappy.  In July, I am told, the creature will finally walk the campus grounds.

Communication

The third key result area in the past school year was the communication of our institutional mission—and our Christian identity—through the mentoring program for students.

After an admittedly tumultuous debut, our refined student mentoring system is beginning to settle down as one of the essential and unique components of our university experience. The newly established Student Mentoring Committee launched the first UA&P Planner, which this year will be released early July.  We are ready to build on this experience and the general scheme in Professor Cardona’s How to Develop Leadership Competencies to strengthen faculty and staff mentoring.

Other significant achievements in the past school year

I would like to briefly mention other significant achievements in the past school year.

The University appointed new Associate Professors: Dr Jerry Kliatchko of the School of Communication, Dr Avic Caparas of the School of Management, and Dr Ma. Andrelita Cenzon.

I would also like to congratulate once more the recipients of last year’s research awards Dr Eva Rodriguez, Mrs Chona del Castillo and Ms Jacques Gimeno.

I would also like to congratulate faculty members who were recognized last school year.  We particularly note Dr Esther Esteban’s winning the Jaime Cardinal Sin Best Book Award for Family Life for her book “The Work of Children” in the Catholic Mass Media Awards last year; Dr Odie Lacsamana’s winning poem Pintado: Inuukit sa Kulay ang Hibla ng Hininga in the Talaang Ginto sa Tula; Ms Danica Ang’s honorable mention from Time Asia for her essay for the Asia Challenge 20/20; Dr Joyce Dy’s participation as Philippine representative at the International Learning Session; and Dr Angelito Antonio’s James J. Meany Award from PAASCU for his exemplary service as accreditor.

Last year, we continued to invest in the future of our University by sending three faculty and administrative members to IESE Business School’s annual International Faculty Program.  Dr Chito Tongco is at this moment attending the program.  This year, we intend to identify others who can participate in the program in June 2012.

Among student achievements last year, we saw six of our alumni passing the bar exam, and two other alumni who ranked among the top ten in the teachers’ board exam.

Finally, talking about admissions, I am happy to announce that we have surpassed our 450-enrolled-student target.  As of today, 471 students count among freshman batch, 106 of whom are scholars.

A whole gamut of communications efforts have been behind all this.  Our marketing efforts received a boost from our new website and its microsites, which we expect to multiply, as well as online social media that have dramatically become a powerful virtual venue for connecting with prospective students and collaborators.  But most effective is the work of the Junior Marketing Communications team, a “sub-unit” of our Corporate Communications Office, composed of the select students who have become excellent communicators of the UA&P identity and culture during marketing talks in high schools around the country and campus tours.

Key result areas for 2011-2012

What can we look forward to in school year 2011-2012?  It is no secret that we a have a thousand and one challenges before us, especially after our special general assembly for employees last June 3.  The survey for employees and the presentation of its results was one important event from which all of us gained valuable insights.  The challenges confront us not only at the institutional level, but at the individual level as well.  We all need to work harder than ever, communicate and coordinate better, act on urgent issues faster, and learn to listen more.  Everyone has a share.  Everyone has a stake.   While the managers serve by governing and leading with greater accountability, those who serve by committing to be thus governed and led must also aim for higher productivity and greater involvement.

As we commence our second year since the promulgation of our 2018 vision, I propose, on behalf of our Management Committee, the following 9-point agenda: [Watch this segment of the President’s address on video »]

  1. We shall embark on a “UA&P mission campaign”, so that everyone in the University are on the same page as regards our corporate philosophy and values.
  2. We will also launch initiatives included in vision 2018 and scheduled for this school year.  I shall mention here only those directly connected with our degree academic programs.  In accordance with our vision, this school year we began four-year courses in humanities, political economy, child development and education, economics, business administration, and communication.  This is in addition to the four year courses already being offered in entrepreneurial management, information technology, applied mathematics, and industrial engineering.  Soon, I am assured, we shall receive the permit to open our program in human capital development.  As the past few weeks showed, we have a lot on our hands in reviewing our academic policies and the interfaces among all our degree programs, as well as putting in place whatever reconfigurations of the core curriculum now called for by the new arrangements.
  3. We shall make our organization stable.  Part of this task is to define the space within which each management unit can act with initiative and accountability.  Part of it too is to devolve decision rights to the Operations Committees and strengthen the practice of subsidiarity in the institution.
  4. We shall train managers in management by mission.  In this way, we distribute the corporate mission to all levels of the organization so that everyone identifies with it, has a stake in its embodiment in vision, collaborates in operationalizing it through objectives, and agrees to a unified standard for evaluating performance.  In this connection, we shall establish means that will make consultation and participation part of our governance culture.
  5. We shall implement an integrated people development program by empowering our people to manage their career in a strategic, comprehensive, effective, and efficient manner.  Management shall continue its review of ranking, promotion and faculty and staff development, and shall release shortly a compendium of policies that will empower middle management—down to department chairs and administrative supervisors—to nurture their people in line with mission-based leadership.
  6. We shall review existing mechanisms for internal communication and feedback, and if necessary replace them with faster and more effective ways of information dissemination (top-to-bottom communicaton) and of conveying comments and suggestions (bottom-to-top communication).  Included here shall be a regular schedule of unit meetings to continue the dialogue started in the general assembly of June 3 and to address transparency issues by rationalizing policy and communiting it well.  Included here too shall be the organization of focused group discussions by our Human Resource Management Office and Corporate Communications Office to generate more significant data from the survey and to dig deeper into the issues that were raised, as well as the scheduling of a mid-year general assembly shortly before the start of the second semester.  I would also like to include here what our Corporate Communications Office calls the JAM sessions, which we began last year, and which I intend to continue to get acquainted with the individual concerns of the members of the faculty and staff, as well as students and parents.
  7. Our Corporate Communications Office shall publish periodically a university gazette for the effective dissemination of new policies and notable news, and shall systematize announcements and boost internal communications through the now formally established UA&P WebCampus, the one-stop, online information and communication platform of the University.  On a wider scale, using free applications on the Web, the WebCampus platform shall facilitate collaboration between and among the University’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  8. We shall push for greater synergy in our development activities.   We shall continue to push collaborative work for our people to become more productive and thereby “help the institution help them” in realizing more responsive compensation and benefit schemes.
  9. Lastly, we shall continue to give the CRC Credit Cooperative management attention and encouragement so that it can soon upgrade into the UA&P Development Cooperative and become an effective partner of the University.

Last year, we obtained accreditation level one in our management, communication and political economy programs, and level two in our education and three economics programs.  This year, we shall pursue level three accreditation for our liberal arts program, as scheduled, to reach autonomy by 2015.

Jose Maria Mariano

We shall also begin in earnest our Language Center, the Advanced Management Program of our future Business School, and the initial activities of our future School of Law and Governance.

To achieve all this, the Board of Trustees has appointed distinct Operations Committees for each of our Schools and College, and an additional member to reinforce the Management Committee.  As you may already know, today is Dr Amado Saquido’s first day as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Our spirits are not dampened by the challenges that confront us!   We have proven that we can come to terms if we are open to one another, not as an aggregate of individuals with separate agenda but as members of an integral community that is the University.  Our challenges are a call to greater accountability to the same mission both for the leaders and faculty of the University and the rank and file who make things possible at UA&P.  Our challenges create a greater impetus for us to remain vigilant in our love for our University, for our students, for the future of our country and the Asia-Pacific region, and for one another.  We shall continue advancing in our efforts to be united in our one mission and one vision of a bigger and trail-blazing UA&P of 2018.

Thank you and good morning.

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