Raye Sanchez, Hannah Heramia
One primary asset of an institution is its faculty. They play a major role in forming, developing and sustaining academic excellence and good quality education that the Colegio promised to its students.
During Relacion 3.0 last September 17, Rector and President Rev. Fr. Clarence Marquez O.P. revealed to the Letran community the status of the faculty members from each department pertaining to their qualifications, job-related experiences, and well-being.
“To enhance administrators, faculty, and staff qualifications, job-related experiences, and well-being; ito ay patungkol sa mga tao natin at nasa 77-78% na tayo. Pero pagbubutihan nating ipatupad ang isang employee development plan at succession plan; itutulak natin ang mga guro ay maging mga doktor at dalubhasa,” Fr. Rector stated.
After failing to meet the standards set by the Colegio, Asst. Prof. Darwin Rungduin turns to The LANCE to give awareness on the status of the previous school year’s full-time faculty population and job qualification under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).
Rungduin explained that the metric system does not provide a general count of full-time faculty members needed for each sector. Thus, it counts the number of full-time faculty with a specific educational attainment of a Master’s degree (MA) or a Doctorate degree (PhD) as well as the immersion of professionals in the industry.
For CLAS, the metric system aims to reach 15% of full-time teaching staff with PhDs, 10% of the faculty with MAs, and 20% of industry-immersed. In addition to that, faculty members with PhD achieved 22%; with MA, CLAS garnered 100%; and for industry-immersed faculty, the department posted 60%.
However, Rungduin still thinks the numbers are still on the low side.“From the target, we are in a good number but of course when we mean to say ‘is it low?’ ‘22% - is it low or not?’ yes, technically it’s low,” he stated.
On the other hand, another department who had failed to meet the cut is the College of Engineering and Information Technology (CEIT).
CEIT Dean Engr. Carlito Gutierrez asserted that the department is doing its part in the Employee Development Program of the Colegio.
“Faculty members who still do not have the required master’s degree are currently pursuing their respective master’s degree and that the office is periodically monitoring the status of their graduate studies,” Gutierrez told The LANCE in an email interview.
“CHED recognizes the dearth of engineers and technologists who have master’s degree and is therefore giving HEI’s time to comply with this requirement,” he cleared.
He also made clarifications that only faculty members with MAs or PhDs are given a regular appointment while the contractual appointments are given to faculty members who do not have the required master’s degree.
Rungduin also mentioned the dilemma that the targeted percentage for each educational attainment continues to rise every year.
In hopes to solve this matter, he bared: “We keep on pushing people to finish their PhD or if not, to enroll in the PhD program so that 4 years after magkaroon ng maraming PhD people. Kasi projection siya parang after 4 years or 3 years, lalaki ‘yung number kasi ito ay medyo hindi siya challenging ngayon. So we’re sending people and we’re pushing us to finish our PhD.”
Another solution, according to him, is to hire people who have already attained PhD status.
“We’re also hiring people with PhD kasi ‘yung ibang mga PhD-taking people natin dito, mga full-time natin, may not be very interested finishing their PhD agad agad. A PhD on an average will take about five to six years eh five years lang naman ang development plan ng Letran for the time of Fr. Rector. To increase this, mag-hire ka nalang ng may PhD – hindi ka na maghihintay,” he detailed.
When considering the industry-immersed faculty, Rungduin made known how enticing the industry professionals is a challenge. “Dapat ang kinukuha ay willing mag-fulltime pero immersed siya sa industry – academe practitioner siya.”
“Usually kasi mahirap i-entice ‘yung mga nasa industry na mag-fulltime dito pero as an academic institution, ‘yun ang kailangan natin; that we have people who are staying here,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez echoed similar plans for CEIT, “The engineers and technologists already in Letran are strongly encouraged to enroll and/or continue their graduate studies.”
“The CEIT intends to continuously monitor the progress of faculty member’s graduate studies. Recommendation for additional appointment of Probationary or Regular FT will also be considered, using various criterions set,” he furthered.
In order to sustain the engagement of full-time teaching staff, Gutierrez then suggests that there is a need to provide a competitive compensation package as well as professional development opportunities.
“These are currently being addressed by the Colegio. Professional development opportunities are put in place in the operational plans of all academic units and HRD,” he said.