“The true aim of education is not knowledge but action.” – Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer once said that “the true aim of education is not knowledge but action.” When we talk about education, people often think that acquiring knowledge is the sole objective. While it is indeed the key, taking action is its ultimate goal, for learning is not something you do for the sake of it, but something you do in order to achieve a greater purpose.
Aside from the economic value of education, allowing students to land on high-paying jobs, its value towards the development of the community should also be acknowledged. After all, the purpose of state universities is to research and come up with useful innovations to improve the quality of life, both individually and as a society.
With these goals in mind, the University of Southeastern Philippines aims to become a premier university, internationally recognized for its distinguished teaching and world-class research. USeP shall produce graduates equipped with high quality and leading edge learning committed to an interactive, participative and technologically enabled experience. Towards this end, it will provide a rewarding and challenging environment for faculty, staff and students to kindle and sustain a passion for excellence.
In order to achieve such aim, I have drafted my programs for the University. My plans and programs for the entire university are anchored on the continuing and current development trends, challenges and opportunities; competitive advantages; and mandates of the University.
- Offer new programs in line with the mandate that are responsive to the needs of the region and the country. These are Tropical Medicine as a support public university to government hospital, Veterinary Medicine in USeP Mabini, Bachelor of Laws, and Industrial and/or Sanitary Engineering in USeP Obrero.
- Continually improve the licensure examination passing rate
- Host Balik Scientists and foreign scientists (as part of the efforts on internationalization including hosting of exchange students, visiting researchers
- Review academic year calendar
- Improve laboratories
- Add to the centers of development and work to transform some centers of development into center/s of excellence
- Enrich faculty teaching materials through the incorporation of outstanding R&D results into student syllabus
II. Governance and Administration
- USeP Internal Management Review
- Review the Strategic Plan, 2007-2021, to determine how far away the university has attained its objectives vis-a vis outputs and outcomes undertake program performance audit across major final outputs (to determine status and assess university’s ability to deliver expected outputs and achieving the desired outcomes)
- Continuous review and re-engineering of administrative processes and operations to achieve higher efficiency in the use of USeP resources to better serve the academic community and improve client satisfaction
- Review Organizational Structure
- Review and Improve University-wide Enrolment System, that is, computerized system in all campuses
- Push for less paper transaction
- Institutionalize a functional database and management information system to enable continuous online access of pertinent data essential to decision-making.
- Increase effort to secure titles of all university-owned lands
- Review and enhance operations of various University centers
- Pursue quality assurance by engaging ISO and Philippine Quality Award
- Develop a well-meaning faculty and staff development plan that will provide strong support to academic programs and research priorities; Health and wellness program will also be sustained for a healthy USeP workforce.
- Review USeP Human Resource Development Plan [Staffing pattern gap analysis, rationalize policies on appointments, promotion and dismissal, areas/fields to be developed, management skills, employee benefits (non-cash and wellness program, etc)].
- Aggressively pursue an expanded modernization program (a program that fast-tracks the faculty development plan so that most if not all faculty would be doctorate degree holders) where faculty are sent out for graduate studies in prestigious universities here and abroad; host foreign faculty as visiting researchers; attract the best graduates (honor graduates) to serve the University as members of the faculty offering them two steps higher upon entry and allowing them to be mentored by senior faculty then encouraging them to go on straight PhDs
- Empowerment/capacitating middle managers as basis for developing succession plan of next university leaders
- Collaborate with various funding donors for innovative scholarships
- Repair/renovate /construct new buildings to replace dilapidated and hazard-prone buildings in Mabini
- Modernize laboratory facilities to strengthen agricultural sciences and engineering programs to support R&D and internationalization efforts
- Put up a University Publication Office
- Shuttle service vehicle for students, faculty and staff
III. Research, Extension and Community Service
- Develop Research and Extension Program that will address adoption, utilization and commercialization of S&T-based innovations
- Strengthen Intellectual Property/Technology Management/ Transfer and Full Operationalization of the Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) in USeP
- Strengthen Extension Programs by mobilizing the energy of the university faculty, students and alumni in responding effectively to local disasters and other natural calamities
- Enhance research management capability
- Design incentives for university faculty and provide resources to manage a cultural shift that does not undercut basic research but puts a clear priority on engaging with industry for mutual benefit and for the benefit of society.
IV. Resource Generation
- Maximize resource utilization and business ventures from university assets/landholdings
- Secure funds/endowments for Professorial Chairs and other forms of incentives to faculty
- Strengthen linkages between research and extension, public-private partnership, implementing-donor agencies, interagency cooperation
- Continue and strengthen partnership with DOST-PCAARRD, the university’s biggest benefactor for R&D and capacity building over the past decade
- Explore possible collaboration with local and foreign funding agencies on their on-going programs (USAID-STRIDE, Fulbright, JICA, UNESCO, Israel, AusAID, Rockfeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, others)
V. Student Services
Improve student services for effective delivery of quality education: guidance and counselling, medical dental, canteen services in all campuses, student council office, establish student assistance center; improve the state of the library to promote intellectual advancement, productive learning, relevant research and quality education;
VI. Improving Interpersonal/Interagency Relations
- Foster camaraderie and teamwork by institutionalizing inter- and intra-campus team building activities
- Identify ways to promote closer coordination/interaction of the different colleges in implementing various programs and projects
- For USeP to be a significant partner of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in promoting sustainable regional development. In such a way, USeP shall fully use its able and skilled human resource in establishing a science, technology and innovation driven – university so that USeP will become a more relevant arm of the RDC in strengthening further the priority industry clusters of the Davao Region, thereby ensuring food security, intensifying industries’ global competitiveness, refining the resiliency of the communities and addressing poverty and conflict
- Strengthen collaboration with other SUCs and Private HEIs in the Region
- Close coordination and active partnership with other government agencies such as CHED, DOST, DA, DENR, DBM, NEDA, TESDA, CSC, SMARRDEC, etc.
Finally, USeP has a special set of responsibilities to our region and country. It is our responsibility to promote conversations in forefront issues so that our students, employees, and community members can arrive at informed conclusions. As center of diversity in all forms, it is our responsibility to embrace and provide a safe environment for responsible people of all backgrounds. Our campuses must assume leadership toward a sustainable future, and our natural setting reminds us on a daily basis of the importance of our environment. We have the responsibility to help our students realize the connections between their daily actions and the rest of the world.
Underneath all of these plans is one desire, and that is the pursuit of excellence—excellence in faculty and staff, excellence in fiscal management, excellence in information management, excellence in research, excellence in community service, excellence in resource management, excellence in partnership with the community, and more importantly, excellence in educational programming and learning environment to become excellent provider of quality education.
May we all recognize that education is our best shot in uplifting the country’s current economic status. With the knowledge, tools, and resources that we have, let us take action and start making a difference!