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Faculty Regent

Faculty Regent

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Faculty Regent Ida Dalmacio's Year-end Report
Faculty Regent Ida Dalmacio's Year-end Report

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Published by: Ronilo Jose Danila Flores on Dec 21, 2011
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12/21/2011

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FACULTY REGENT’S REPORT2011
Since I started my term as faculty regent, I have reached out to a number of faculty members through email and personal interactions to get their opinions/inputsrelated to the Plan of Action which was uploaded in the UP website during the election period for the faculty regent:1.Assessment and rationalization of faculty recruitment, renewal, tenure andretention2.Faculty promotion and rewards system3.Institutionalization of consultancies and other income-generating activities4.Provision of additional faculty benefits and assistance5.Institutionalization of faculty mentoringDocuments relevant to the above topics were asked from the different UP CUs.In addition, CUs were encouraged to forward matters needing attention which were notexpounded in the Plan of Action. Some of the feedbacks which I received from thefaculty are as follows:
In general, the main issue is consistency across units. A mechanism must be in place to make sure that all academic units adhere to the same procedures andstandards. There are units which have very rigid requirements and there are unitswhose standards are less than ideal. There are also units with no clear program of recruitment and faculty development.
For renewal, the requirement of taking a teaching effectiveness course for youngfaculty members whose scores in SET are quite low should be included.
On faculty promotion and rewards system – Many faculty members with goodresearch performance get promoted despite not so good teaching performance.
The use of the SET as a criterion for promotion differs among campuses.
Consultancies and other forms of extension work should be encouraged. If it isinstitutionalized; however, the point system in the promotion scheme shouldconsider this.
For income-generating activities, UP can put up private subsidiaries (under the provision of RA 9500) that can charge market rates and employ faculty member,REPS and even staff.
The BOR has already approved the Revised IntellectualProperty Rights (IPR) Policy of UP.
Credit loading should be reviewed. If UP wants to push for more research, then itshould give faculty more time and resources to do it.
Queries regarding creditload for some faculty members who have other responsibilities have alreadybeen answered by the UP Legal Office.
Other benefits: Expansion of the health benefits currently being received;increasing the enrolment in UPIS, UPLB Rural High School and other laboratoryschools in UP to accommodate, as many as possible, children of UP employees.
Institutionalization of faculty mentoring: Where possible, formation of researchgroups should be encouraged and mentoring will naturally happen.
 
Limited number of regular items. Staff with graduate degrees cannot be hired because of the lack of positions commensurate to their qualifications.
Lack of housing for staff and faculty
 No clear-cut policies on tenure
Insufficient funds for attendance to meetingsAdditional suggestions/comments that were aired during the consultations:
To enable collaboration among developed CUs and “younger” campuses, therecan be “System Research Program” which can be led by “mature” CUs whichhave facilities and seasoned researchers. This can also be a form of mentoring.
Hiring of faculty should be based on area of specialization and not necessarily onthe number of students since in some cases, the ratio of faculty:students would becorrect but expertise to answer specific training may not be met.
Establishment of elementary school for children of staff members within thecampus or in close proximity to the campus (for CUs which do not have suchschools)
Instrument used for promotion and the action on the promotion of the faculty ateach level of evaluation should be made known to the faculty member.
Points earned by the staff which have not been considered during a call for  promotion can be “banked” and can be credited in the succeeding round of  promotion.
The basis for establishing the number of students registered in a class before amultiplier is applied in giving teaching load credit should be clear.
The cost for improvement of facilities which are not necessarily for direct use bythe students be allowed to be charged to tuition fees.All the problems, concerns, issues, comments and suggestions gathered were presented to the BOR and were submitted to the appropriate UP official(s). Some of the replies that were received from the Vice Presidents (VPs) are mentioned below:With regard to the
need for housing/additional housing on campus
, accordingto VP Zamora, several efforts have been initiated, e.g. the preparation of a UPSystemwide Master Development Plan which will form the basis for all developmentefforts of the University, and talks with Pag-Ibig for on-campus and off-campushousing have already been made.
During the BOR meeting on July 25, 2011, VP Zamora reported that there isalready a work program for the conduct of the Master Development Plan whichrequires 18 months to complete. She added that the Master Plan is part of theStrategic Initiatives of the Administration.
On the budget for 
retooling/post-graduate studies/attendance to meetings
of UP staff, VP Bersales replied that funds for this purpose are already in place and thatthey are being managed by the different CUs. Perhaps the amount for this purposecan be increased so that more staff members can avail of this grant.
 
The concern aired about the possibility of 
using the increment in the tuition feesfor projects not
 
directly affecting the students,
e.g. improvement of facilities, can be done provided that there will be consultation with the students and proposal would be presented and approved by the BOR.With regard to
transparency and efficient dissemination of information
, VPAmante mentioned that a seamless, connected system of information, through onlinedocumentation and retrieval is being developed with the Office of the Vice Presidentfor Planning and Development (OVPD) AVP Jimmy Caro working on this initiative.The issues concerning academic matters affecting the faculty, like recruitment,tenure, retention, renewal and promotion, were discussed with VP GiselleConcepcion. The documents pertaining to the above topics were sourced from thedifferent campuses and will be used as reference in formulating a uniform set of rules/guidelines that can be applied to all CUs.Although not brought up in any of the consultations made, the extension of service of faculty and REPS has been discussed in the BOR meetings and need to belooked into. A number of staff who have retired from UP are still beingrecommended for appointment as adjunct professors or lecturers while the services of some staff are being extended. Some are given compensation while others are not.Such recommendation for extension of service should only be done under highlymeritorious cases. Campuses are highly encouraged to follow their staff development plan and see to it that younger faculty are trained to take the place of the retiringfaculty.
A special committee under the Vice-President for Academic Affairs will beformed soon which will be tasked to study the different issues concerning facultyand REPS (promotions criteria, incentives and extension of service of faculty andREPS) and come up with the guidelines consistent across CUs.
Also included in the Action Plan which I forwarded during the search for thefaculty regent is the promotion of the democratic participation of all the UP personnel inuniversity governance in matters affecting the rights and welfare of all UP constituents;hence, I also made some effort to look into the plight of the REPS. I had the opportunityto meet with the REPS of UPLB and was able to get some concerns and problems relatedto the:(a)minimum qualification standards (MQS) specifically for researchers withMS degree and(b)minimum requirements for appointment of research and extension staff with a master’s or doctoral degree to the rank of assistant professor (research/extension), associate professor (research and extension), or  professor (research/extension) for UPLB.

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