Many professors at DLSU engage in lucrative activities other than teaching and research to augment their day-to-day expenses. Some are practitioners of their craft from 8pm to 5pm and teach in the University at night, like lawyers and advertising practioners, while others hold leadership positions in commercial organizations.
Even though the plates of these professors are always full, such instances could be beneficial to Lasallians, since their teachers are able to exemplify the concepts and theories they learn in class.
A number of professors also teach concurrently in other schools and institutions. Whether it’s in the University of the Philippines (UP) – Manila or in a mere tutorial class, an arrangement like such is difficult to juggle not only on the part of the professor, but also on the part of the academic departments the concerned professor is under. Conflicting interests and divided attention could be some threats to the teaching capabilities of Lasallian faculty members.
Where do they go?
Vice Dean of the College of Education Dr. Rochelle Lucas reveals that most part-time DLSU professors also teach in other universities like University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and some at St. Scholastica College and UP. She further states that none — except one whom she knows of, who is affiliated with Chiang Kai-Shek — teach in elementary school levels because their training as teachers is for the university level and because primary schools usually require their faculty members to stay in the school the whole day.
She explains that tertiary instruction is more convenient than its other counterparts, allowing some Lasallian professors to teach in more than one university. “Methodologically wise, it’s more taxing to teach in the elementary and high school because they have to submit lesson plans, and then we have to handle several sections, and they cannot teach here [at DLSU] because they have to stay there [at the elementary school] the whole day,” she adds.
Dr. Paulina Gocheco, Chair of the Department of English and Applied Linguistics, says, “Most of them [part-time teachers] teach in the college and high school level. In terms of schedule, they are given schedules that do not interfere with their other external assignments.”
Lars Raymund Ubaldo, vice chairperson of the History Department, also shares that part-time professors that teach or work elsewhere usually choose organizations with offices or campuses near DLSU because of accessibility, especially in terms of distance. He also states that the University does not discriminate or discourage its professors from teaching at any particular university. “We encourage our teachers to teach in another school if there are no available teaching load, especially for the part-time instructors, but we don’t allow fulltime faculty members to do so. We want them to teach [and concentrate] at De La Salle.”
Lucas shares that some of the part-time teachers in her college who aren’t engaged in concurrently teaching in other universities, are administrators in other institutions, government workers, some give tutorial classes, some undergo teacher training programs, and some are preparing for licensure exams. Because of this, workloads may vary depending on what subjects are available and how much load is manageable for a particular teacher. Nonetheless, these teachers are required to attend meetings at DLSU, as long as they’re not in conflict with their schedules at other institutions.
Part-time policies, full-time schedules
Professors who teach concurrently at DLSU and in other universities are categorized as part-time professors. According to the faculty manual, the usual load of part-time professors is six units. This could be increased or decreased after some time, if the teacher proves to be effective based on evaluations and appraisals. The maximum teaching load is 12 units.
“They still follow the maximum number which is twelve and the minimum number of teaching units is three, so the assignments would depend on the available units of the department, so there’s no like special preference,” says Lucas. Ubaldo explains that part-time professors can still take on the full load, but usually those with teaching loads in other universities or schools are not able to do so.
Lucas informs that professors must disclose where they teach concurrently. “We need to know that because of the scheduling,” she explains, “Because De La Salle operates in a trimestral term and it’s not the same with Ateneo or UP or UST, so we have to know where they are teaching, so we can more or less sort of adjust the schedule that we would be giving them, because they also have to teach in other schools.”
A Statistics professor who teaches at both DLSU and Ateneo de Manila University illustrates that it would be helpful if a faculty member who wishes to be affiliated with several institutions teach the same course in all schools. “Doing so gives us the feeling that we have a teaching load comparable to full-time professors, but the only difference is our load is distributed between two or more institutions,” the part-time professor adds.
Gocheco says that full time professors, on the other hand, cannot teach in other universities except for visiting fellowship agreements, usually with foreign universities. “We encourage visiting fellowships for our senior full time faculty so they can network, collaborate, and update themselves with new trends in the academe,” she says. She points out, however, that for visiting fellowships, the difference in schedules is now remedied because of the shift in the academic calendar.
Adjusting to responsibilities
Some arrangements may cause conflicts between the department and the professor. According to Lucas, the main problem is the scheduling and distribution of teaching units. She says, “There’s no problem with the grading system; they [part-time professors] can adjust. And then they have no choice but to follow the syllabus of the department. So it’s just the schedule that we’re having difficulty with because sometimes they have special requests like if it’s possible for them to teach only Monday and Wednesday because they have Tuesday and Thursday at UP, so we just have to make those little concessions for them, because we also need them to teach with us.”
Yari de la Cruz (II, BSA) verifies what Lucas mentioned by sharing her experience with one of her department’s professors who teaches in DLSU and in another university. She remembers that the professor would usually complain about the long commute from one campus from another during class. There were a couple of times that her professor was late for class because the travel time.
“I guess what compensated for my professor’s tardiness was his eagerness to still teach even though it’s obvious that the long commute to and from DLSU tires him out,” de la Cruz furthers. She expresses her apprehensions when it comes to professors who don’t have the same energy and attitude as her teacher.
Lucas also explains that the trimestral schedule of DLSU may create problems as well. She illustrates this by saying that we start earlier than Ateneo and end earlier, so by the time second semester starts in Ateneo, DLSU is already midway through another term. Vice chairs are aware of such schedules, and they keep them in mind when planning the assignments for the professors for a term. Ubaldo affirms this idea, saying that departments may sometimes need to make adjustments due to the conflict between semestral and trimestral systems.
Another problem that sometimes occurs is the dissolution or re-assignment of a section in another university. Such situations may cause a conflict of schedules for a professor, who may have to choose whether to drop his class at DLSU or to drop his class at the other school. In such instances, Lucas says that professors may choose which class to drop, but she always tries to convince them to keep the DLSU class, especially since classes at DLSU usually start earlier than classes in other schools, and there would have already been several sessions by the time the professor must make the decision.
Given that going part-time may cause complications both for the school and for the teacher who must juggle responsibilities in two institutions, it may seem logical for professors to simply go full time, however, it is not that easy. Lucas explains that some part-time professors don’t go full-time “because they’re not qualified to teach here full-time. There are stringent requirements [for going full-time] like a doctorate degree, and some of them are not doctorateholders, they’re just MA holders, so they are not qualified.”
Gocheco states, “The part timers take pride in having a teaching load at DLSU. A teaching load at DLSU, one of the top universities in the country, gives them the necessary credentials and references for their future career goals.”