University of the Philippines Los Baños
Horizon online
The UPLB Horizon is a newspaper/magazine that features articles on instruction, research and public service initiatives and programs, as well as information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. Some articles that are featured in it appear on the UPLB website. For contributions, email [email protected].

 

 

CFCSJinUSA1

From the Lone Star State, to the Sunflower State and the Sunshine State, up to the Great Lakes State, top UPLB officials flew to the United States to further strengthen and expand UPLB’s international ties with four universities.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs and Dr. Rex B. Demafelis, vice chancellor for research and extension, met with the officials of four US universities from Oct. 16 to 26 to sign various agreements for human and material resource exchanges.

Three of these universities are UPLB’s new partners, namely: Texas A&M University, Kansas State University and University of Florida. The fourth, Michigan State University, has been a long-time partner of UPLB.

Texas A&M University has opened its doors for faculty and students exchanges through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UPLB. Located in College Station, Texas A&M University is the state’s first public institution of higher education.

Likewise, Kansas State University is now a UPLB partner in mutually beneficial exchanges of professors, scholars, scientists, students and information, academic materials and publications by virtue of an MOU. Like UPLB, Manhattan-based Kansas State University has colleges of agriculture, arts and sciences, engineering, human ecology, veterinary medicine, and a separate Graduate School.

On the other hand, University of Florida and UPLB are to start a cooperative effort in faculty and student exchanges and research collaboration under a cooperative agreement. Located in Gainsville, the former is a land-, sea- and space-grant university.

UPLB, represented in the signing ceremony by Dr. Lapitan and Dr. Demafelis, also renewed the MOA for Two-Way Student Exchange with Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and College of Social Sciences. Located in East Lansing, Michigan State University was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in 1855.

CFCSJinUSA2

These new partnerships strengthen UPLB’s international linkages with around 70 universities across the globe. They form part of the fulfillment of UPLB’s vision-mission to become a globally competitive graduate and research university that contributes to national development.

Dr. Lapitan and Dr. Demafelis also visited the University of Minnesota for exploratory talks on establishing linkages with the said university. (Juan Paolo A. Aquino)

research-slide

Students preparing their materials for a session of the Versatile Instrument System for Science Education and Research (VISSER) Summer Workshop. UPSIO file photo.

 

 

The following are initiatives and programs of the university undertaken by the Office of Vice President for Academic Affairs:

International Publication Award

The purpose of the award is to encourage faculty, REPS and students to contribute to the body of knowledge in their respective fields/discipline by publishing in internationally respected journals that are peer-reviewed and adhere to high standards of scholarship.

Distinguished Artists, Scientists, and Academics-in-Residence Program 

Through the program, our students and young faculty will have the advantage of learning from and building connections with some of the most successful people in their fields around the world. Experts will also benefit from the program through joint projects with their students, and scholarly and creative discourses with our seasoned faculty members.

Concepcion D. Dadufalza Award for Distinguished Achievement

The UP Board of Regents established the award on June 29, 2000 in honor of a beloved former professor of the University, Professor Concepcion D. Dadufalza, on the occasion of her 50th year of teaching at the University of the Philippines. Funded by a graduate of the University who requests anonymity, the award aims to honor individuals of distinction, to keep alive the selfless vision and values of Professor Dadufalza

Gawad sa Natatanging Publikayson sa Filipino

Alinsunod sa patakaran sa wika ng Unibersidad, inaasahan na lalong huhusay ang mga publikasyon sa Filipino ng mga fakulti at REPS sa pamamagitan ng pagkilalang idudulot ng gawad.

UP Arts Productivity System

The UP Arts Productivity System (APS) was established by the Board of Regents in its 1239th meeting on December 2008 as the counterpart for the arts of the UP Scientific Productivity System and is aimed at encouraging outstanding productivity in the creative arts or in arts scholarship for national development. Deserving artists and arts scholars in the faculty and research staff will be conferred the title “UP Artist” with a monetary award, the UP Arts Productivity Award.

UP Scientific Productivity System

The UP Scientific Productivity System (SPS) was approved by the Board of Regents in its 1199th meeting on August 2005. The SPS aims to: (1) support the development of science and technology and (2) encourage and reward scientific productivity.

Research Dissemination Grant

With the RDG, faculty and REPS researchers are encouraged to conduct and publicize high-quality research that would make the University more visible in the international research community. Participation in international conferences would also expose our faculty and REPS researchers to cutting-edge research, and could provide opportunities to forge collaborations with leading researchers in the world.

PhD and Master’s Fellowship Program for Faculty and REPS 

Priority will be given to PhD and MS fellowships directly aligned with the niches of each of UP’s constituent universities, as well as support for MS/PhD sandwich programs to enable the pursuit of theses/dissertations in foreign universities.  The length of a PhD Fellowship that can be enjoyed is up to five years.  The program supports tuition, salary, hiring of a teacher substitute, as well as access to a start-up grant of up to P2.5 M upon completion of the PhD.  For foreign study, the roundtrip airfare and living allowance would also be covered.

Visiting Professor Program

Under the UP Expanded Modernization Program, UP is launching the UP Visiting Professor Program in order to increase the number of mentors for young faculty and graduate students working on their MS, PhD or postdoctoral degrees, as well as improve and encourage the culture of research among its faculty. UP invites you to participate actively in the development of UP as a research university.

Short-term Training in Foreign Universities

Short-term training in foreign universities will provide opportunities for the UP academic staff to update themselves on curriculum and pedagogy and to undergo retooling and advanced training in research and creative work. It will also be a chance for UP academics to showcase their talents and explore collaborations with foreign counterparts.

Honor Graduate Fast Track Program

Under this program, summa cum laude UP graduates recruited to teach in UP would have the rank of Instructor 5; magna cum laude graduates, Instructor 4; and cum laude graduates, Instructor 3.  These honor graduate faculty would enjoy close mentoring by senior faculty, and also enjoy access to the ECWRG grant (for instructor 4 and above).

UP Teaching Assistantship Program

Teaching Assistants are either Teaching Associates (TAs) – master’s students, or Teaching Fellows (TFs) – PhD students, who are pursuing their studies half-time and are teaching half-time.  They are postgraduate student scholars and not contractual employees of the university. It is the program of the university that provides financial support for postgraduate studies.

Balik-PhD Recruitment Program

To strengthen the foreign-trained Balik-PhD faculty recruitment campaign, faculty and researchers based in foreign universities and research institutions (both Filipinos and non- Filipinos) will be provided a financial incentive to convince/recruit younger PhDs (Filipinos and non-Filipinos) that they have mentored as young faculty, postdoctoral fellows or PhD students in their universities or collaborating research institutions, to become UP faculty under the Foreign-trained Balik-PhD Faculty program.

Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Program

The University is inviting innovative, interdisciplinary, inter-CU research programs and projects that aim to generate fundamentally new knowledge contributing to the understanding of natural phenomena, and with beneficial applications.

Enhanced Creative Work and Research Grants Forms and Guidelines

Faculty (Instructor 4 and higher) and REPS (University Researcher 1 and higher) are invited to submit proposals for the ECWRG. The ECWRG aims to encourage faculty and REPS to undertake research or creative work that will lead to publications, exhibitions, performances of creative work or other significant output such as patents, new software, and advanced technologies.

Call for applications

For questions, please contact Ryan at the OVPAA via telephone number (632) 981-8500 local 2622

For more information on the university academic and research programs, please visit the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs website.

 

presidency-bor-decision-1024x576

On 23 September 2016, the UP Board of Regents received the nominations for the following for the position of UP President:

  1. Consolacion R. Alaras
  2. Danilo L. Concepcion
  3. Gisela P. Concepcion
  4. J. Prospero E. De Vera III
  5. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
  6. Orlando S. Mercado
  7. Benito M. Pacheco
  8. Roger D. Posadas
  9. Caesar A. Saloma
  10. Michael L. Tan

At a special meeting of the Board of Regents held on 1 October 2016, the Board conducted a preliminary screening and evaluation of the nominees based solely on the following minimum requirements: 1) holder of a Master’s degree; doctorate preferred; 2) substantial academic experience at the tertiary level; 3) should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70; and 4) no conviction for administrative and criminal offenses. Based on this, the Board then unanimously accepted the nominations of the following as candidates for the UP Presidency:

  1. Danilo L. Concepcion
  2. Gisela P. Concepcion
  3. J. Prospero E. De Vera III
  4. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
  5. Benito M. Pacheco
  6. Caesar A. Saloma

Four (4) of the ten (10) nominees were not included in the list of candidates for the UP Presidency due to the fact that they did not meet the minimum requirement that a candidate “should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70.

The Board of Regents’ unanimous decision to uphold this requirement, after due deliberations, was based on the following legal grounds:

  • Under Republic Act No. 9500 (the UP Charter of 2008), Section (j), the Board of Regents is given the power to elect the University President based on standards and guidelines set by the Board of Regents itself. Clearly, the Board of Regents is expressly granted the power to set the standards or requirements in electing the UP President.
  • The UP Charter of 2008 is silent on the age requirement or limit for the UP President.

The old UP Charter (Act 1870), likewise, was also silent on the age limit for the UP President. Yet the Board of Regents was empowered then as now to set the age limit for the position, which it did set at 70 years old in 1961 by way of a Board Resolution at its 686th meeting held on 14 June 1961. The age limit of 70 years old now forms part of UP’s University Code.

  • The age limit of 70 years old has been in existence since 14 June 1961. Such age limit was last observed during the time of UP President Francisco Nemenzo who was elected for a term of 6 years (from 6 August 1999 to 5 August 2005) but had to resign upon reaching the age of 70 on 9 February 2005, a few months before the expiration of his term.
  • There are general legislations that provide for the age limit of 70 years old. For instance, RA 8282 (the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997) states that the term of the President of a state college or university may be extended beyond the age of retirement (65 years old) but not later than the age of 70 years old.
  • Regarding the requirement for serving the full term of six (6) years, the UP Charter of 2008 (RA 9500) provides the basis. Section 13 (j) of the UP Charter clearly states, among others, the Powers and Duties of the Board of Regents, as follows:

Section 13 (j): “To elect the President of the University for a single term of six (6) years following a process of democratic consultation with the university community based on standards and guidelines set by the Board. In the event of a vacancy, the Board shall elect a President who shall serve a full term.” 

  • In addition, Section 14 (paragraph 2) of the UP Charter provides: 

Section 14 (paragraph 2): “The President of the University shall be appointed by the Board and shall serve for a single term of six (6) years.”

For inquiries, please contact:

Edna Estifania A. Co, DPA
Vice President for Public Affairs
09985898022

 

 

 

Click here to view the CV’s and Mission-Vision Statements of the nominees for the UP Presidency.

wur web

 [To view the University of the Philippines profile on the Times Higher Education website, please click through this graphic. Graphic from THE.]

 

 

Expanding its coverage, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings now includes institutions from 10 more countries for 2016-2017, including one from the Philippines, its national university, the University of the Philippines.

In its communication to UP, THE said UP ranked “in the band of >800 this year out of 980 institutions” from 79 countries. UP got its highest scores in knowledge transfer and lowest in research influence.

THE ranks universities based on five “pillars”: 1) teaching or the learning environment (30 percent); 2) research volume, income, and reputation (30 percent); 3) citations or research influence (30 percent); 4) international outlook of staff, students, and research (7.5 percent); and 5) industry income or knowledge transfer (2.5 percent).

“Your strongest Pillar was Industry Income where you ranked in the fifth decile. Your weakest Pillar was Citations where you ranked in the ninth decile,” THE informed UP.

In its website, THE defines industry income as a university’s ability to help industry with innovations, inventions and consultancy. “This category seeks to capture such knowledge-transfer activity by looking at how much research income an institution earns from industry (adjusted for purchasing power parity), scaled against the number of academic staff it employs.”

“The category suggests the extent to which businesses are willing to pay for research and a university’s ability to attract funding in the commercial marketplace – useful indicators of institutional quality,” according to THE.

UP’s industry income score was 40.8, a few points higher than the median score of 38.9 in a box plot where the highest was 74 and the lowest was 32.1. Its ranking in this category was 431.

UP’s second highest ranking was in international outlook, where it ranked 512th. In teaching, it placed 695th; in research, 848th; and citations, 859th.

Universities were excluded from the THE World University Rankings if their research output amounted to fewer than 200 articles per year over a five-year period. UP is the only institution from the Philippines ranked thus far.

According to its website, the rankings “are the only global university league tables to judge research-intensive universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.”

According to Phil Baty, editor of the THE rankings, THE World University Rankings is now on its 13th year. “Going from strength to strength,” it is now drawing on 150 separate data points on each of 1,313 of the world’s leading research universities.

“Our data analytics tools, available to universities through THE DataPoints, allow institutional research teams to interrogate this data alongside that from two annual THE Academic Reputation Surveys, providing 250,000 items of data, and bibliometric data from Elsevier, based on more than 56 million citations to 11.9 million research publications (including 528,000 books or book chapters) over five years,” Baty informed UP.

THE’s communication to UP did not include the rankings of other global universities, which the Times supplement is set to release on September 21, 2016, 9:00 PM (BST).

On 25 August 2016 incident at the Board Room in Quezon Hall

5 September 2016

Dear Members of the UP Community:

Last 25 August, as you may have already heard, a group identifying themselves to be students mainly from UP Los Baños and UP Diliman stormed into the UP Board Room in Quezon Hall shortly after the adjournment of the Board of Regents (BOR) meeting, but with several Regents still around. The students came to decry, among other issues, the alleged “failure” of the new computerized registration system, known as the Student Academic Information System (SAIS), during the registration period in UP Los Baños this semester.

While I definitely do not condone the disruptions the said group caused, I can understand the reasons for their distress. Evidently, information on what we are doing to address UP’s perennial registration problems and improve administrative efficiency has not been adequately disseminated.

I have decided to write this letter not only to those students who came to the BOR for “answers”, but also to the University community at large, whose members deserve to know the pertinent facts behind these issues.

At the heart of the protesters’ complaints was the SAIS, which is an integral part of the eUP program we launched in 2012 to integrate and harmonize the information and communication technology infrastructure across all constituent universities (CUs) of the UP System. The eUP program has, in addition to SAIS, other key information systems covering human resources; financial management; supply, procurement and campus management; and executive information.

The eUP program also has other components, such as, upgrading of fiber optic networks, increasing bandwidth for faster Internet connectivity, and providing computers and other equipment to our various campuses—things which the University needs regardless of what information systems we implement and which accounted for about 70% of the P750 million spent on the eUP program.

SAIS was specifically designed to streamline such familiar and often tediously complicated processes as admission, enlistment, cross-registration, advising, study program planning, shifting, transferring, and alumni tracking, as well help faculty members and academic units do longer-term planning to meet future demand for courses. SAIS is meant to eventually banish the long queues that have remained an embarrassing hallmark of the UP registration system in this digital age.

We agreed to adopt SAIS because its particular features address our needs. And more significantly, SAIS has worked, and worked well, for over 700 of the world’s leading universities and colleges (e.g., NUS, NTU, SIM, Universiti Malaya, Chulalongkorn, HKU, HKUST, Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, ANU, RMIT, UNSW), including some local higher education institutions. Properly implemented, SAIS can do much more than the respective registration systems previously or currently in use in the CUs can handle.

SAIS has already been successfully implemented previously in three CUs—in Manila, Baguio, and Cebu. This semester we introduced SAIS in UP Los Baños, and after a few initial glitches at the start, SAIS settled down to its normal operation, thus enabling registration to proceed up to its completion. The fact that there were initial glitches cannot mean that the system per se is fatally flawed, and thus, to be rejected.

We already expected that the adoption of any new system, such as SAIS, will have birthing problems. But in the case of UPLB, the problems were compounded by a massive and apparently malicious Denial of Service (DoS) attack on our server at around the start of registration, which is now under investigation by the authorities. Apparently, someone out there wanted SAIS to fail, for reasons only he or she can tell.

I assure you that we are dealing with operational problems as well as certain issues being raised by the students and will make SAIS work as it should, while taking cognizance of everyone’s needs and concerns.

There have been suggestions, for example, that we should have sought a cheaper, open-source alternative. We already did. We discovered in 2012 that a consortium of US universities, known as Kuali, had been trying to develop a student administration software. However, we found out that a consortium member (University of California Berkeley) had pulled out after five years of waiting and another one (Florida State University) had left a couple of years earlier. Both of these universities that pulled out of the consortium subsequently decided to adopt the Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions software, which we call SAIS, for their student information system.

The original quote for the software suite we got was not cheap, but we were able to secure the perpetual license at a huge discount. In any case, the benefits we expect it to bring us would far outweigh the costs. And I would like to make it clear that whatever funds we have spent on the eUP program did not, and will not, diminish any of the pre-existing funding commitments of UP prior to our administration.

The reality is that during the past five years we have been able to mobilize very substantial increases in the funding for UP from government and other sources.

This availability of funding resources has enabled us to pursue not just the eUP program, but also many other important and much bigger initiatives. For example, we have been able to provide substantial merit promotion (P800 M) and monetary benefits (P2.8 B) to our faculty and staff members; to invest in more than a hundred new buildings and renovations in our various campuses (P9 B); to modernize the hospital equipment of PGH (P3 B); to support interdisciplinary research of our faculty (P950 M); to support their PhD and Master’s studies; to provide them research dissemination travel grants; to recognize their achievements through professorial chairs, enhanced scientific and arts productivity awards, and other academic awards; to send students on exchange programs abroad; to provide undergraduate and postgraduate student assistantships; and to meet other priority needs of the University and its constituents.

I understand and accept that dramatic political action is part of our hallowed tradition of dissent. In a sense, this is good as it provoked more questions about and drew more attention to what eUP is all about and what it will mean to the University’s future.

As I approach the end of my term, I can only hope that as a university—indeed the national university—we can continue to discuss and resolve our problems in an atmosphere of reason and sobriety, impelled by our common love of this institution and our desire to seek only the best for it and its future. That desire should include openness to new ideas and new technologies to improve the way we work.

As a community of scholars, students, and workers dedicated to the truth, we cannot allow malice, ignorance, and disinformation to derail the University’s growth or block the way forward.

Should you have any more questions about any aspect of eUP or SAIS, my office will only be too happy to receive and to answer them.

There is an urgent need for us to catch up with our peer universities in the region and the rest of the world. Please join me in this continuing quest to bring our beloved University up to the highest global standards—to be a model for the other local higher education institutions. Much of the future of our country will depend on the future of the University of the Philippines.

Thank you for your attention and support.

Yours sincerely,

Alfredo E. Pascual
President

 

 

To view the signed letter from the President, please click here.