Today marks my one year in office as the President of our beloved Institution - the Bulacan State University; indeed, time flies so fast! It seems that it was just yesterday when I first stepped at the University Activity Center to present my development goals for Bulacan State University, and now we are done with our first year of accomplishing them.
Let me share the framework that I am using in instutional transformation and development.
For people from outside the Institution, BulSU is known for its graduates’ impressive performance in board examinations, reign in sports and athletic events, immense enrollment rate, and other issues magnified by media coverages that shape our reputation in the community.
Looking closer, you will find a century-old institution with more than a thousand faculty and four hundred non-academic personnel, accredited in Level III status in 2014-2015. Brought about by retirement of senior faculty, its rate on Quality of Instruction is observed to slip down. Moreover, performance in several licensure examinations displayed decrease due to the addition of new programs with corresponding licensure examinations.
Further, Research Capability showed only a slight improvement caused by lack of citations of our faculty researches and scanty inventions and patents. In the previous Faculty Development program of the University, only 5 out of 40 faculty members finished their Ph.D. programs, and only 15 out of 400 graduated from schools included in the Top 5 schools in the country. Further, upon reviewing, only 40 out of 60 academic programs offerings are accredited.
These situations welcomed me in the office, and I got to know where should I start. “Leadership”, after all, according to Warren Bennis, “is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
During our first one hundred days in office, we, the Office of the President, issued Memorandum #2, requesting all the Vice Presidents to report on the status of the various programs/projects under their watch. On the same note, Memorandum #2B, directs the Chief Administrative Officer for Finance and Chief Administrative Officer for Administration on the status of their offices and the various offices under their care. Guided by the concrete data and enlightened by the tome of information, the Office of the President formally connects with the Administrative Council and the Academic Council to further hone the data before her, complete the picture and so formulate guidelines to effect the flight plan.
Looking further and beyond, the Office invited key players to a dialogue: the Administrative Council Members of the University together with the Regional Offices of Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). This is to craft the first phase of the Strategic (for the next 5 years) and Medium Term Development Plan (for the next 10 years) of the Bulacan State University.
The succeeding memoranda (#9, #10) centered on stabilizing the Student Affairs by appointing a Dean to the Office; and looking dearly unto the Office's programs and activities.
To facilitate the enrolment procedures, the office signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines in the establishment of an electronic payment portal that allows the payment of tuition and other fees in the bank. We also directed the pertinent offices for the utilization of the air conditioned Valencia Hall as a one-stop enrollment venue thinking of a more convenient place for the students to stay as they queu for their turn.
The Office studied the flight of the University’s Employment by Job Order (EbJO) staff and ordered the increase of their salary. From 1st tranche, our employees are enjoying the 3rd tranche of the salary standardization 4. We have also initiated sending out birthday greeting cards and cakes to the members of our community celebrating their special day. You might count this as insignificant, but this is our way of saying that we care, we remember, and we celebrate with our employees.
During the 3rd regular meeting of the Board of Regents, the office requested for the approval of the Creation and Establishment of New Offices enabling a more effective and efficient functioning of the University (Special order #3, s2015). The following Offices are therefore approved and created:
We also visited the different campuses, interestingly inquiring on the conditions of the physical structures and the offerings and programs particular to the campus and/or as may be developed.
We also connect with the various stake holders including politicians and community leaders both local and international. Utilizing the opportunity to find support for the uplift and up-build of the programs and structures of the University. A scholarship worth P500,000.00 benefiting 61 students is granted to us by Dr. Kim Sin Ongkauko of New Zealand Creamery.
We also have an Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the Seoul National University College of Medicine, Camp International, the City Health Office of San Jose Del Monte to capacitate the community on health education in the area.
Looking back, after 366 days in office, six Administrative Council meetings, three Academic Council meetings, almost daily scheduled and unscheduled dialogues, three international trips, and unlimited documents to prepare and sign, what have we accomplished?
In the area of Instruction: We are now heading towards level IV status for the College of Education and College of Industrial Technology. We have tapped all the concerned offices, and kept on reminding them to work hard and well in preparing the pertinent documents needed for the said accreditation.
Application for ISO 9001:2015 is already on-going; and we expect to undergo the certification in July 2017. We hope that with this certification, the operation of the university will become more efficient.
Aside from these, we are also gearing our programs to be recognized as Center of Development or Center of Excellence. Moreover, from the latest reports from the Office of Faculty and Staff Development, out of 1,020 faculty, 387 have their Master’s Degree, 92 have Ph. D., and 497 are enrolled in the graduate school pursuing PhDs and MS. In these figures, we have 14 CHED Scholars and 14 BulSU Scholars, and counting. We really intend to maximize all the available funds to invest on the development of the most important element of a higher education institution, its faculty. In addition, graduation has never been the same at Bulacan State University because our graduates received their diplomas on the very day of their commencement exercises.
In the Area of Research: we have approved 25 research proposals which we expect to be completed towards the end of this year. This is a new development, for our faculty researches now are proposal-oriented, aligned with research agenda of the University. Further, our extension programs are research-based, and this time, we make sure that they are not just “dole out” activities, but genuine sharing of expertise to the community. We were also able to secure research grant from the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research on the following:
On the matter of Finance: We may have a lot of substantial projects and plans, but they are as good as nothing if we don't have money to make them materialize. From zero capital outlay for 2016, we succeeded to make 25 million pesos on Congressional Insertion through our persistent lobbying. Our efforts bear fruit as we were allowed by the Board of Regents to use the unutilized budget of Fiscal Years 2015, 2016, and our savings to develop the 25 hectare lot that will serve as our University Campus 2.
Meanwhile, for our infrastructures, we have on-going projects:
Ultimately, after more than a decade, BulSU has now a working Strategic Plan and Development Plan crafted by the entire community represented by the Administrative and Management Committee.
With these, the goals of the top administrators met with the commitment of the members of each unit, guided with our revised Mission-Vision Statement which language is simpler, more concrete and understandable, and its content, more practical and measurable. The Office also initiated revisiting, and if necessary revising, Faculty, Student, and Library Manuals.
In my one year in Office, I can say that I have learned a lot by leading this Institution--getting a feel of the system and practices, attending programs and activities, knowing better the people I work with. Thus, the measure of my leadership is not on what we have accomplished after twelve months, but what we still intend to accomplish after learning and having clearer and firmer grasp on various things in the system.
Allow me to conclude this by enjoining everyone to participate, contribute, and work well for the development of our University. No amount of leading and planning will be sufficient to make this Institution the way we want it to be, until every employee come to realize that we ARE the University, that we ARE the system, the every one of us decides and works for the future of Bulacan State University.
Mabuhay ang Bulacan State University! Mabuhay tayong lahat!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!