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U.P. Diliman Speech Prof. Leonor M. Briones on 9/24/2010

U.P. Diliman Speech Prof. Leonor M. Briones on 9/24/2010

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Published by Chanda R. Shahani

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Published by: Chanda R. Shahani on Oct 28, 2010
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10/28/2010

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TOWARDS A UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINESFOR ALL FILIPINOSBY: PROF. LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONESSecond Forum on the U.P. PresidencyU.P. DilimanSeptember 24, 2010Introduction
Good afternoon, magandang hapon, naimbag na adlaw, maayong hapon kaninyong tanan, maayogid nga hapon ug maupay nga hapon! As an adopted member of the Bagobo Tribe with the rank of 
Bae, let me greet all of you, “Mappiyon mapon kaninyo langon tu UP!”
 I was a nineteen-old graduate student on a research fellowship when I first entered U.P. That wasfifty years ago. I have not left since then. I started as a project research assistant and am now a fullprofessor. In between I was Secretary to the Commission on Audit, Vice-President for Finance andAdministration of the University and Treasurer of the Philippines. I have never stopped teaching.Ang pinakamahalagang bagay na natutunan ko sa UP ay ang pagmamahal at pagsisilbi sa bayan.Bale wala ang malawak na karunungan kung hindi ito ginagamit para sa kapwa Pilipino, para sabayan.
Vision Statement
My vision is that of a University of the Philippines which is at the cutting age of innovation,invention and change, whether it be in science and technology, the social sciences, culture, literatureand the arts. I see it pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge, and using this knowledge in theservice of all Filipinos and of the country.
The pursuit of academic excellence
The UP is the leading institution of higher learning in the country. It attracts the best and brighteststudents, boasts of a competent faculty and leads in all fields of learning.
The university’s performance in licensure examinations, as well as the quality of our graduates in
different academic fields is well established.
 Nonetheless, the Charter’s mandate abo
ut UP being a graduate as well as research university
requires serious strategizing. All of our CU’s offer graduate studies, most often in similar fields.
The uneven content and substance of these offerings require constant assessment in terms of relevance and rigor.Our journey towards establishing ourselves as a research university. Again, research outputs among
CU’S are
uneven. Strengthening the research capacities of the universities calls for athoroughgoing review of our academic programs, as well as massive mobilization of human,material and financial resources.
 
 
Serving the country and contributing to national development
The university has a long tradition of community service, provision of expertise and significantcontributions to national d
evelopment. It has provided a large number of the country’s political
leaders, great thinkers, scientists, artists, critics and dissenters as well.
All our CU’s render assistance to communities, local governments and national institutions. Many
of these patriotic contributions are unheralded, unnoticed, uncounted, and if I may say, underpaid oreven unpaid.Periodic assessments of these contributions can be made and different experiences shared so thewheel need not be reinvented and successful innovations can be replicated.
The UP Charter mandates the university to “regularly study the state of the nation in relation to itsquest for national development…and give advice and recommendations to Congress and th
ePresident of the Philippines." My vision is that of a UP which will conduct a comprehensive reviewon an annual, biennial basis which will involve all the constituent universities.
Responding to changing demands
I envision an agile UP responding to changing demands and expectations. For example, it cancontribute significantly to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. The target date is2015. Thus far the targets on poverty, health-particularly infant and maternal mortality-education,nutrition and dreaded diseases are at risk.Beyond MDGs, we have the threats of climate change, a looming fiscal crisis, intractable problemsof governance, an economy plagued by unemployment and inequality, and urgent issues of justiceand peace.The University, with its 258 undergraduate and 438 graduate programs, 3,648 faculty members,10,394 administrative and research personnel, and more than 50,000 of the brightest young peoplein the country is the richest resource which can be utilized to help solved our multiple crises.During the first forum last Monday, I specifically mentioned U.P. Los Baños and its enormous
capacity for contributing to national development. Let’s look at UP Diliman this time. Any
president can name any national problem and you can be sure there is a college or unit which hasthe professional capacity to respond with analyses and recommendations.Are we looking for answers to persistent poverty? We have no less than 7 colleges and units in theManagement and Economics cluster who can help search for the answers. Corruption and othergovernance problems? NCPAG, College of Social Science and Philosophy, the Department of Political Science can help in understanding the terrible blight. The deteriorating state of education?Our own College of Education which can lead the search for answers.
The other CU’s are just as capable of responding to escalating demands for UP excellence.
 

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