University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:55

UPLB maps out plan to increase PhD faculty members

“The faculty is the heart of the University. If it is the heart, our recruitment of faculty is really important, because a university rises to excellence and honor, or slips to mediocrity with the quality of its faculty,” said Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, UP vice president for academic affairs, as she talked about the UP Faculty Development Program on the first day of HARPS.

HARPS, which stands for Harmonizing Academic Resources Planning Seminar-Workshop, focuses on developing the UPLB faculty by increasing its Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) holders up to 50% by 2025. At present, UPLB has 945 faculty members. Among UP Constituent Universities, UPLB currently has the highest percentage of PhD holders at 38%.

HARPS10

HARPS gathered 131 deans, directors, chairpersons, and members of the Academic Personnel Committees on Oct. 25-26 at the Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas. They are tasked to plan for faculty development and develop a core staffing pattern for their respective colleges.

“This faculty development program should make the most of the opportunities and resources available to UPLB,” said Prof. Julieta A. Delos Reyes, assistant to the vice chancellor for academic affairs. AVC Delos Reyes delivered the program’s welcome remarks on behalf of Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his inspirational message, assured the participants that such goal is attainable. “I remain optimistic that this goal can be achieved provided that we implement a realistic and comprehensive faculty development program,” he said. “We really need to step up our game and look for possible ways to achieve the increase of PhD holders.”

Dr. Rita P. Laude, professor emeritus and former vice chancellor for instruction, presented the Comprehensive Faculty Development Program for UPLB (2015-2025) that she crafted together with National Scientist Dolores Ramirez and AVC Delos Reyes in 2010.

The faculty development proposal articulates the emergence of new fields of specialization under 12 major disciplines. These new disciplines, Dr. Laude said, should have faculty members trained with PhD. Among the proposal’s ideals is that at least one senior staff with a PhD should man all important disciplines in the University. The proposal projects 761 PhD scholarship slots needed for  the program.

Dr. Laude emphasized the need to address the gap of low intake of two national scholarships in UPLB: the Department of Science and Technology’s Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program-National Science Consortium and the Commission on Higher Education’s Scholarship for Graduate Studies-Local. “Try to see why faculty members seem not to be interested in these scholarships,” Dr. Laude said.

After the talks and an open forum that followed, the participants were grouped according to their colleges for the workshop-breakout sessions. HARPS is organized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)