Culture of Greatness is UPLB's Key to World Class Competitiveness
- Written by Chancellor Rex Victor O. Cruz
Category: Great Stories from the Horizon
Published: 13 September 2013
Located at the science and nature city of Los Banos, UPLB is one of the seven constituent universities of the University of the Philippines (UP) system. Established on March 6, 1909 initially as the College of Agriculture, it offers 29 undergraduate, 70 masters, and 30 doctoral degree programs in the natural, physical, and social sciences as well as in the humanities and the arts. UPLB continues to align itself with the vision of making the UP system a world-class university - specifically a premier graduate and academic university, a research university, and a public service university.
Outstanding Academic University
UPLB’s culture of academic excellence pervades in its nine colleges and two schools. Five colleges/institutes are Centers of Excellence and two others are Centers of Development for Excellence. It is a top performing school for registering a passing mark of 100 percent and sweeping the top slots in almost all licensure examinations in agriculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, nutrition and dietetics, and engineering.
To engage the “Gamer generation,” we are improving facilities, enhancing our curriculum, transforming our paradigms in teaching, and strengthening the competencies of our teachers. The BS agri-biotechnology program has revitalized our offering in agriculture with deserving students availing of the PhP5 million scholarship grant given by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture. Entrepreneurship 1, or Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit, is strengthening our economics and management offering.
The Master of Veterinary Epidemiology tackles transnational diseases that affect our health and economy, while the Master of Management, major in cooperative management, consolidates our pioneering efforts and best practices in organizing cooperatives. And firming up our engagement in policymaking and political leadership are our offerings such as the Master of and Master of Science in Development Management and Governance and the newly instituted PhD. in Development Studies.
In our paradigm shift of teaching and learning, we are embracing more interactive, innovative, and integrative learning environments. We are promoting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary academic and research programs such as those on climate change and disaster risk reduction, alternative energy, and water governance. We are also institutionalizing internalization as part of our academic culture. Hence, we have been increasing our linkages with equally prominent universities abroad as well as with international research and development organizations.
Vibrant Research University
To fortify UPLB’s strength in research, we are improving our facilities; enhancing our resource base and international research collaborations; forging new areas of research; protecting our intellectual properties; and strengthening a culture of research. With funding from the Commission on Higher Education, we will soon establish the UPLB Integrated Analytical Service Laboratory Complex. A total of PhP 79 million has been earmarked to renovate the College of Agriculture- National Crop Protection Center (CA-NCPC) Complex into the Central Laboratory and to buy advanced scientific equipment.
We are studying the creation of a Computational Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory (CINTER) - a network of laboratories for bioinformatics, robotics, computational mathematics, computational chemistry, and data science. Further, the Department of Science and Technology has already allocated PhP60 million for a UPLB program in nanotechnology. We envision establishing a Center for Food and Environment Security as well as a Philippine Center for Tropical Forest Science (PHILTROP).
To sustain our research programs, we are nurturing a culture of research among our staff. We are implementing a University Pulse Survey Research Program, which may be the first of its kind among the constituent universities in the System. We encourage every research proposal to have a publication component or a provision for sharing results to the public. We are also improving our graduate mentoring program to inculcate in our postgraduate students the discipline as well as the values and ethics of doing research under the mentorship of our senior and respected professors and scientists.
Relevant Public Service University
Ingrained in us is the culture of public service. We are doing this through community service and voluntarism programs; relevant technologies and information sharing; and technical advisory services. We serve as technical consultants, advisors, coordinators, leaders, and policymakers of development programs – at the local, regional, and even global levels. In 2012, UPLB has served about 54,000 beneficiaries through 1,145 non-degree training programs and other extension activities.
Our Pahinungod volunteers are engaged in programs related to affirmative action, youth and women development, technical assistance, immersions, and education and literacy. Under the Padayon program, we have been organizing quick response teams to address pest and disease outbreaks in farms and plantations. UPLB is likewise very active in community communication – using the oldest educational radio station, Radyo DZLB, and the community newspaper - The Los Baños Times.
But we have also used social media in reaching the public. We are networking globally in using communication for development by hosting the Asian portal of the FAO-funded Consortium for Communication for Development (CCC). While protecting our knowledge products through our Intellectual Property Rights Office, we are sharing public technologies through a dedicated website and social media.
We have a portal for the scientific journals we produce, four of which are ISI-accredited. At this time, we have more than 360 thousand downloads for our journal articles; almost 51 thousand readers of our reports; and more than 5 thousand views of our 60 research videos.
Operational Efficiency and the Culture of Excellence
We are now closely working with the UP System for the implementation of eUP towards better operational efficiency in our teaching, research, and public service. We are also consolidating all the income-generating projects (e.g., land grants) and activities of the University to help sustain these initiatives. We have submitted all the requirements for accreditation of the UPLB Science and Technology Park as a Special Economic Zone to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
We want everyone – alumni, students, constituents, and all stakeholders – to be our partners in transforming UPLB into a worldclass University. We all have the seed of greatness inside of us – and it is a culture of values, of honor and excellence, of aspirations for a greater purpose, and of servant-leaderhood.
It is this culture of greatness that makes us ready to be a premier national and world class university.