This year’s University General Assembly, held on September 16 at the Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament and livestreamed on Facebook, formally opened Academic Year (AY) 2022-2023 with an address from DLSU President Br. Bernard Oca FSC. Oca highlighted the University’s accomplishments and milestones in the past AY, as he shared DLSU’s plans and priorities for this year.
“One year since our last University General Assembly,normalcy—however one may define it—remains a moving target which we must approach with faith, good courage, prudence, and a sense of humor,” Oca said.
Tweaks in administration
Oca noted changes in the DLSU Organizational Chart, which saw the replacement of the Office of the Chancellor with two senior figures: the provost and the senior vice president.
“We (DLSU) have taken on the dual task of evaluating our organizational set-up and professionalizing administrative service through revisions to our administration manual. We regard as particularly significant the affirmation of college deans as part of the University’s top management. It may have been the experience of many in the past that the position is largely operational but we look forward in the coming years to find ways of supporting our deans in their strategic work so that they may more boldly plan and undertake initiatives and more aggressively innovate within their colleges.”
Streamlined systems with BITUIN
Oca presented Project BITUIN (Banner Initiative to Transform, Unify, Integrate, and Navigate), an enterprise resource planning project that aims to streamline processes and digitize services in the areas of financial management, human resources, and student life cycle.
“[Amid dismissiveness and suspicion in corporate-based reforms being undertaken in educational institutions,] BITUIN is ultimately undergirded by a moral principle. The cost of education has risen nearly threefold in real terms since 1992. As families deal with this, it would be plain wrong for the University to tolerate costly inefficiencies.”
Decorum in DLSU Code of Conduct
Oca also discussed the completion of the DLSU Code of Conduct, which unifies provisions in the University’s different manuals.
“This year, we also completed work on the DLSU Code of Conduct. Our code of conduct sets clear expectations of behavior, not just for members of the DLSU community, but [for] our external partners as well. It harmonizes provisions and sanctions across all our different manuals so that we are all guided by principles that are applied consistently, regardless if we are faculty, staff, administrators, or students.”
The gradual reopening of on-site operations and the possible post-pandemic improvements that the University may undergo were also highlighted in the address.
“Redesigning and repurposing our campuses for post-pandemic study and work, embedding resiliency, security, and sustainability in all our systems, physical and cyber, [is among this year’s main goals]. The key priority this year is to ensure pre-pandemic levels of service on campus.”
Ending his address, Oca thanked the Lasallian community for their resilience and determination, reminding the community to remain grounded on the institution’s core values.
“Sa gitna ng mga pagsubok na kinahaharap ng ating institusyon, ang ating Pamantasan ay nanatiling bukal ng mga magagandang balita para sa bansa, sa rehiyon, at sa mundo. Ngunit higit pa rito…kailangan natin maglaan ng sandali [upang] magnilay at magpatotoo sa kabutihan ng Diyos sa ating mga puso sapagkat ang pagiging Lasalyano ay [nakasentro sa] walang batid na mapagpakumbabang paggawa ng kabutihan, hindi sa pansariling pagpupugay.”
(Amid the challenges faced by the University, we have still showered good news to the country, the region, and the world. But beyond this, we need to find time to reflect and to realize the goodness of God in our hearts because being a Lasallian is rooted in modest service, not in self-acclamation.)