Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Greetings, Faculty Regent Ida

Our congratulations to new UP Faculty Regent, Dr. Ida F. Dalmacio, professor at the UPLB Institute of Biological Sciences.  She starts work with the BOR this month, and will be Faculty Regent for two years (2011-2012).  Under the UP Charter of 2008, the FR has a term of two years and represents solely the faculty in the BOR.

I know Regent Ida knows what she’s going to do so I have no intention of telling her what to do.  All I want to do is recall what I proposed to the BOR, when I was FR in 2008.  I had two major proposals then.

First, I proposed a reformulation of the policy framework for faculty promotion and tenure.  Faculty members of UP, who want to be promoted or tenured, must apply for promotion or tenure.  By applying, one must, therefore, be ready to provide the supporting documents, such as sample copies of academic publications and the like, needed in the evaluation of one’s promotability or tenurability.  In other words, one who thinks he/she should be promoted or tenured must apply for promotion or tenure and be ready to prove himself/herself.  It is not appropriate for just a committee to determine whether or not one should be promoted or tenured, if the faculty member concerned is not ready or interested to get promoted or tenured.

Second, I proposed the establishment in the university of a career path for REPS (research, extension, and professional staff) personnel.  As late as 2008, there were REPS at UPLB who have earned their PhDs and remained at the level of SG12 or SG15.  Until today, the highest a REPS could be promoted to is SG22, which is rare.

A faculty member starting out as Assistant Professor 1, for example, can hope to be promoted to Professor 12, or perhaps University Professor.  There’s no such flexibility for REPS.  Besides, there’s really no legal basis for the University to set aside money for promotion of REPS because there’s no career path for them.  Hence, when REPS are considered for promotion, they have to compete with faculty  members.  They can’t be considered competing with the Administrative Staff for promotion purposes.

When I submitted my concept papers to the BOR in 2008, I suggested a specific protocol.  I submitted my proposals directly to the BOR, which turned it over to the UP President, who, in turn, passed on the proposals to the Chancellors, who were expected to turn the proposals over to the sectors concerned (REPS and faculty) for appropriate discussions.  The intention was for the respective sectors to formulate their own proposals to deal with the problems.  These proposals, it was suggested then, were to be submitted by the campuses to the UP System for consolidation and formulation of a final proposal which was to be presented to the BOR for action.

I believe that the concept papers I submitted in 2008 are still in the campuses and discussions have not been finished, if they had started at all.  I didn’t expect that my proposals would be carried by the various sectors concerned, but at the very least I had expected that the sectors concerned would come up with a proposal of their own to solve the problems I had envisioned my proposals would help resolve.

But then again, are the faculty members interested in streamlining the faculty promotion and tenure system; and are the REPS interested in having career paths in the university?  I had thought then that they would, but I could have been completely wrong.


Still,  I wonder if one who joined the university as a URA knew he/she would be able to grow professionally and even get promoted to the position of, say, Scientist VI or perhaps Director of Research.  What would be his/her level of motivation compared to one who knew he/she would only get promoted to just the position of University Researcher?  I would hope that one would be more interested to get promoted to a higher position.  Such is what a career path could offer the professional staff.  At this point, I believe that more open discussions among the personnel concerned are needed.  What do the people who’ll likely be affected think about this idea?


The current university policy requires that a new faculty member must be tenured within three years.  One important requirement for tenure is academic publication.  Without such publication, one can’t be reappointed as faculty member.  So, instead of becoming tenured, one would not get reappointed.

Under this condition, I’ve seen groups of Assistant Professors not getting reappointed.  It can be bad for the instruction program of the university because the institution could lose its best teachers, but that’s the current policy.


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