A green research university with a community that is one and open to all.
That is how University President Br. Bernard Oca FSC envisions DLSU as he introduced the University’s four-year strategic plan at the University General Assembly at The Verdure, fourth floor of Henry Sy Sr. Hall last September 6. Oca and officials under the Office of the Provost also outlined their respective achievements and plans for their offices during the event.
Quality, agility, community
Provost Dr. Robert Roleda began the chain of presentations by recapping the accomplishments of the University during the pandemic years. Roleda said that the University undertook strategies centered on increasing accessibility to services, exploring niche areas, expanding partnerships, and opening opportunities during the pandemic under the ANIMO strategic plan, which was introduced last 2020. He cited that receiving multiple high-level institutional accreditations from various associations and improved placement in educational rankings are testaments to the success of the plan.
Vice President for Research and Innovation Dr. Raymond Tan spotlighted the increased commitment of DLSU to transition into a global research university. Tan shared that DLSU has allotted 20 percent or approximately P1 billion of its budget to research to keep its momentum in global rankings.
Vice President for Lasallian Mission Fritizie De Vera brought up that 92 percent of the University’s academic programs have already integrated service learning educational approach. De Vera also took pride in the partnerships made and awards gained by the Lasallian Social Enterprise for Economic Development Center over the last year. The University aims to maintain its involvement in local government affairs through the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) City consortium, a group of universities in the City of Manila aiming to localize the United Nations SDGs in the city.
DLSU also inked 54 new linkages over the past year, said Vice President for External Relations and Internationalization Dr. Laurene Chua-Garcia. She disclosed that the University is set to host the Times Higher Education Campus Live SE Asia 2023, a global conference for education policymakers, this November. This makes DLSU the second university in Southeast Asia and the first in the Philippines to host the summit.
In a bid to promote innovation and student exploration, Dr. Jonathan Dungca, vice president of the Laguna campus, announced the implementation of a Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) system for select ID 123 Computer Science students. He explained that CBL uses “experiential learning [and a] pedagogical approach that actively involves its students in real-world problems.”
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry Major in Food Science and BS in Electrical Engineering will also be offered in a two-years-in-Manila, two-years-in-Laguna scheme beginning Academic Year 2024-2025, Dungca announced.
Build, build, build
Numerous infrastructure projects in the Manila, Laguna, and Lian campuses were also presented during the assembly.
The Manila campus saw the inauguration of the Fluor Engineering Laboratory and the renovation of its teaching facilities. The first construction phase of the new Mutien Marie Hall—which will result in a four-story building holding performance spaces—had its groundbreaking ceremony last July 6.
New buildings also rose in the Laguna campus in 2022, namely the St. Matthew Gymnasium and Santuario de La Salle. Dungca hinted at more developments such as a new five-story teaching building with 25 laboratories, and the Enrique K. Razon Jr. and University Halls, which broke ground last August 8.
New infrastructure projects are also underway at the Br. Alfred Shields Ocean Research Center in Lian, Batangas.
Being above and beyond
Oca revealed at the University General Assembly that a four-year institutional strategic plan is now in the works and shall be presented later this year. It focuses on separating DLSU’s overall strategy from its “business-as-usual” activities of teaching, research, and social engagement. He emphasized that this strategy, which will begin with the regeneration of facilities and services, will aim to push the University administration “above and beyond” what they are capable of.
In line with the University’s goal to “contribute to the Philippine knowledge economy” and become an internationally influential research institution, faculty members with the ranks of Assistant Professor and above are now required to produce at least one publication per year, Oca stated.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation is also set to assemble multidisciplinary researchers who will conceptualize more graduate programs to strengthen the University’s education portfolio, according to University Fellow Allan Bernardo. Partnership-wise, DLSU is committed to reaching more “like-minded stakeholders” to further impact both University and national policy.
Oca also presented a dashboard with about 20 key performance indicators that assess the University’s capabilities in delivering its functions, an initiative that is separate from the entire four-year strategy plan.
Decades La Salle, the University’s institutional research podcast that spotlights the stories of Lasallian alumni, was launched to close the program.