Building an Epistemic Community: President De Guzman Shares Vision for PUPDan Esponilla Dalac, The PUP Observer, Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2012
The new chief executive is “clearing the paths” and “laying new foundations” for the holistic transformation of the country’s largest state university.
Pres. Emanuel de Guzman talks about his vision for the University during the convocation held on June 6, 2012.
President Emanuel C. de Guzman revealed his plan to transform the 108-year-old Polytechnic University of the Philippines into an epistemic community in a general meeting of university administrative officials held at the Manila Room of Hasmin Hostel last June 6.
“We should know what we are, where we are and where we are going,” Dr. de Guzman told Executive Vice President Victoria C. Naval, Vice President for Academic Affairs Samuel M. Salvador, Vice President for Administration Estelita Wi Dela Rosa, Vice President for Student Services Juan C. Birion, Vice President for Finance Marissa J. Legaspi, Vice President for Research, Extension and Development Pastor B. Malaborbor and some 130 other officials from the 22 campuses comprising the University.
“We cannot detach our personal life on the global context lest we lose our spot in the academic community. The PUP must be an epistemic community – an institution that produces and manages knowledge – for it to become relevant in the world,” the President reiterated.
“We envision PUP as a reputable academic, intellectual and professional epistemic community which is critically aware of itself and its social environments in and through which it is entangled, situated and contextualized,” he added.
System-wide changes must be introduced, according to Dr. de Guzman, to pave the way for institutional transformation. “I am like facing an enormity, we have a big university. We have to disembed the culture of patronage and degenerative institutional habits. We have to lay new foundations for progressive change towards the epistemic vision,” he said.
Principles of Governance
Dr. De Guzman said foundational changes can be achieved through a type of administration that is guided by some paradoxical pairs of values.
“We will have a democratic-transformative, transparent-participatory, critical-rational, humanist-environmentalist, fair-firm way of governance,” the President explained.
The new president bared an eight-point agenda that will guide his administration in dealing with the current situation, needs and demands of the university. “We must pursue academic excellence through disciplinal integrity; embed a culture of research; assure transparency and participatoriness in giving rewards and sanctions; and modernize and upgrade physical facilities,” he said.
“We must also re-conceptualize academic freedom; institutionalize civil society engagement; observe fiscal responsibility; and assess institutional processes in order to have a critical-rational review of the entire organizational structure, academic programs and policies on faculty and personnel recruitment and new student entrants,” he added.
Dr. De Guzman said he formulated this plan of action based on what he had observed as former Sociology student and faculty member of PUP.
“PUP has done a lot in the area of instruction but we are lagging behind in the area of research. Instruction and research go together and the best teachers are those who are also researchers.”
“We must cluster disciplines that are related to one another,” he added, “and we must institutionalize student government and publication. We must likewise be accountable to the people by being prudent in allocating funds and we ought to have a social conscience.”
Dr. De Guzman called on his fellow university officials to work with him for the realization of his goal to transform the PUP into an epistemic community.
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