Teachers play an instrumental role in every student’s life. A student is guided by different teachers specializing in various fields, all throughout their life.
In De La Salle University, teachers can be seen both in and out of the classroom walls. Some interact in a friendly manner with their students, but not all professors are keen in having anything beyond professional interactions with them.
Overview of DLSU Faculty
There are three classifications of faculty members in the University. Two of which are teaching personnel, namely, Full-time Academic Faculty and Part-time Academic Faculty. The third group is the Academic Service Faculty, comprised of non-teaching personnel like those from the Admissions office, University Library, and other units performing academic services.
DLSU faculty members are expected to abide by the Code of Ethics, as stated in the Faculty Manual, which indicates that one must be intellectually honest. One must also be objective and fair in dealing with all matters and must show respect to their fellow staff and students. Faculty members are also expected to uphold the core values of the University, namely, faith, service, and communion.
Part-time faculty members are contracted on a trimestral basis. Their minimum teaching load is six units, and their maximum is 12. In rare cases, the load of a part-timer may be increased to 15 units to accommodate tutorials, thesis mentoring, and practicum assignments. Within the ranks of part-time faculty members, there are two tracks, the Teaching and Professional Track.
The Teaching Track is composed primarily of teachers who have other jobs in other universities while teaching in DLSU. The most basic rank within this track is Lecturer. This rank requires at least a bachelor’s degree and one year of teaching experience, however, some departments might ask for more requirements. The University will also need a certificate of Good Moral Character from the applicant and a teaching demonstration, and this applies for all ranks that will follow.
After Lecturer is Assistant Professorial Lecturer 1 to 2. Their basic requirements are a master’s degree and at least two years of teaching experience in the tertiary level. Assistant Professorial Lecturer 3 to 7 needs the same requirements with additional nine Ph.D. units, and a minimum of four years of teaching in the tertiary level. Associate Professorial Lecturer follows next, now needing at least a doctorate degree in the field relevant to the subjects stated by the department, at least five years of teaching in the tertiary level and/or seven years of managerial and professional experience. The highest rank in the Teaching Track for part-timers would be Professorial Lecturer. This needs a relevant doctorate in the field of study and a published research and/or journal publication.
The Professional Track is composed of professionals with master’s degrees and equivalent work experience in the field of their choosing. Under this is Professional Lecturer, which requires at least outstanding national recognitions with ranked experience in a related field. Above this is Senior Professional Lecturer, needing at least international recognition or experience as a head of a company, group, or a sector in the government.
To rank up between the steps of the Teaching Track, there is a minimum residency requirement of having taught 18 units and three trimesters, except for the Professional Track. Any further research and anything done that can bring prestige to the University will also be taken into consideration for ranking up.
For reclassification or promotion, after finishing the necessary requirements, the faculty member should submit their updated documents to the Department or Unit head for review. The head then prepares the list of recommendations for reclassification to the proper office, which will submit it to the Reclassification Board. The Board will deliberate to make the necessary recommendations for the applicant. The Vice Chancellor of Academics will receive the decision sheet and inform the applicant of their status. However, there are some that can be exempted to this procedure or go through it differently, depending on the situation.
Full-time faculty members are expected to fully concentrate on teaching and research. They are expected to devote 40 hours a week to academic work. The hours include 25 hours for activities within the University, such as lectures and consultations, and 15 hours for additional activities such as thesis advising and research projects. Like part-time faculty members, their minimum teaching load is 12, but they are allowed to overload whenever.
For full-timers, the basic rank is Teaching Associate, which requires at least a master’s degree and at least one year of teaching experience. One should also exhibit effective teaching performance, demonstrate research potential, and have good moral character and health. After which is Assistant Professor 1 to 2, which has the same requirements and at least two years teaching experience. For this, work, managerial, or research experience directly related to the chosen field can carry the same weight as teaching experience. Assistant Professor 3 to 7 follows, requiring a master’s degree, nine Ph.D. units and at least four years of teaching experience in the tertiary level.
Above the Assistant Professor ranks is Associate Professor, which needs a doctoral degree in a relevant area, at least two years teaching experience and scholarly contributions such as research studies, projects, and publications. After the Associate Professor is the Full Professor, and this rank has the same requirements as the Associate Professor, with the addition of an award, grant or fellowship from a reputable organization.
To recognize retired Full Professors for their exhibition of Lasallian values and attitudes, as well as excellent contributions to the University and the academic world, one can attain the rank of Professor Emeritus for life. This requires at least 15 years of service to DLSU and high distinctions as a scholar, scientist, and the like.
Promotion for full-time professors is done at the end of one’s service, year, or residency, which is at least one year of staying in their current rank. They must submit an updated biodata with their academic performance and activities since their last promotion and indicate if they want to be promoted. Similar to the part-timers’ process, the head of the department will then consult other members of the department concerning the matter.
Depending on the review and if the minimum requirements are fulfilled, the head will then prepare the list for promotion. The list will be received by the proper administration office before being given to the Reclassification Board, which will study the necessary documents before coming to a decision. It will submit the decision sheet to the department Chair before he or she will give it to the Chancellor. The Chancellor will then update the faculty member about their status. However, like for part-timers, there may be changes to the procedure if needed.
Benefits of part-time and full-time faculty
Both part-timers and full-timers have the same basic benefits as mandated by law, such as overtime pay and basic maternity leave. As they rank up, their salaries increase as well. They also have the same death benefits, but full-time faculty members will get more monetary compensation. The same can be said for retirement plans, as well as faculty development benefits, which can be used for tuition discount for graduate studies and other grants as stated by the program.
However, full-time faculty members have health care plans and longevity pay, depending on one’s length of stay in the University. They also have different leaves for their health, practice of profession, or for further researching. Research incentives are also given to Assistant Professors and above for any paper or publication in their chosen field. There are also parking spaces located at the Enrique Razon Sports Center reserved for full-time professors.
Mr. Joel Legaspi, a part-time Marketing professor who was once a full-timer, says that one big advantage full-time faculty members has is how they’re paid. He says, “Part-time teachers, they get paid by the hour they teach. So [if] there’s no classes, they don’t get anything. Full time professors get paid even if it’s vacation because your salaries are continuous.” Full-timers also get prioritized during the distribution of teaching loads.
Part-time faculty, while they may not have the same benefits, they have more free time on their hands. As full-timers need to spend a certain number of hours in campus, the freedom of scheduling can be seen as benefit. Legaspi attributes his change back to part-time to the flexibility in scheduling part-timers have, saying, “I need that freedom to do my Ph.D. or to do more research. I think that’s the biggest reason why I went back to part-time.”
Legaspi thinks that the current system is fair, and is easy to work with. He believes that for one to attain a certain rank, he or she must really do everything in their power to prove their worth for it. However, he also believes that a member of the DLSU faculty should be well-rounded in all things, and that the administrators should enforce that as well.
“In my opinion, I cannot speak for the other teachers or for the administrators, but I guess there should always be a balance between research, teaching potential, expertise in the field, work experience. I think there should always be a balance of such to judge if it’s a good teacher or not,” Legaspi shares.