UPLB Dean talks about graduate university challenges
Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr, Dean of the UP Los Baños Graduate School was the invited speaker for the Academic Program Improvement (API) lecture on the “Challenges of a Research and Graduate University: the UPLB Experience“ held on August 25, 2015 at UP Visayas, Iloilo City campus.
According to Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Encarnacion Emilia S. Yap, the lecture was conducted by the UPV in response to the call of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual to “step up and do more” in terms of enhancing the graduate programs of UP given its mandate as a research, graduate and regional and global university along with intensifying internationalization efforts that will allow research to flourish through international partnerships.
In his message, Chancellor Rommel A. Espinosa encouraged the participants to do a critical re-examination of UPV’s Graduate Program Office to achieve the activity’s objective of reviewing its function vis-à-vis the implementation of graduate programs by the different colleges. He emphasized that the review will contribute in strengthening the role and in expanding the scope of GPO. Moreover, he said that the result can provide basis for the possibility of upgrading GPO into a UPV Graduate School that will be in the frontline in terms of offering globally competitive graduate programs in the fields of fisheries, aquatic sciences, management, basic sciences and professional education.
Camacho cited the RA 9500 that mandated UP to perform its unique and distinctive leadership in higher education and development. He recounted how UPLB started its graduate school in the 1970s. It has grown to serve as a research university in various fields of expertise by conducting basic application of research, promoting research and development, and contributing to the dissemination and application of knowledge.
He also said that the UPLB Graduate School played a lead role for UPLB to fulfill, promote and provide a nurturing environment that is conducive to graduate education. According to him, the Graduate School promoted an enabling environment that is technologically advanced and has professional staff to provide services. He said that UPLB is serving almost 2,000 graduate students currently, and a little more than 200 of these are foreign students.
Camacho cited the factors that made UPLB’s Graduate school gain prominence, which include excellence in graduate education, innovative governance, concentration of talent, and abundant resources. With these, he expounded that faculty members would feel that they are part of a significant project and thereby ensuring their full commitment.
The UPLB Graduate School, under Camacho’s leadership has also been aggressively seeking funds to fulfill its plans. A P78M building will soon rise in UPLB, which was sourced from the General Appropriations Act by the UP Administration.
“Birth pains will surely be part of the challenge if UPV goes into the direction of elevating the GPO into a Graduate School and it will not be very soon. It has been recognized, however, that this is the direction that should be pursued.” This was the essence of the message delivered by GPO Director Dr. Vivian A. Topor as she thanked the participants who are heads of offices and units in UPV. She closed the activity saying that“ Your presence indicates support and your support enables us at GPO to continue exploring the path that may be less popular, uncertain, or maybe thorny but is necessary…we began this day with a challenge, but we are again faced with another challenge, however, we are more confident because we have something to carry us through.”
By: Anna Razel L. Ramirez