AFED bares concerns on the Academy in town hall meeting

The provost-proposed Academy was met with flak from AFED, who believes that the new college-like unit wouldn’t be necessary.

“If it [is not] broken, why fix it?”

This was the sentiment of numerous member faculty of the Association of Faculty and Educators of DLSU, Inc. (AFED) during an online consultatory town hall last March 13 for the admin-proposed Academy, which will combine the Senior High School (SHS) and Lasallian Core Curriculum (LCC) into a single, college-like unit. 

The Academy will serve as a “pre-university” program that will integrate SHS students to the tertiary level and “align its curriculum with the University’s” starting Term 1 AY 2024-2025, explained Provost Dr. Robert Roleda. 

Should the plan push through, a dean will be appointed in the Academy to replace the Senior High School Engagement Coordinator.

“The purpose of a dean is to have a structure…to decentralize the governance, ‘di palaging sa Provost na lang,” Roleda said. 

(…not always directing everything to the Provost.)

Among other key changes upon implementing the Academy include modeling provisions regarding leaves, attendance, and residency after undergraduate rules, and integrating the SHS student affairs with that of the tertiary level. However, SHS faculty will still follow the Integrated School’s (IS) policies regarding ranking, promotion, salary grade, and permanency systems. 

The proposed change in policy will also allow SHS students to join undergraduate clubs and organizations. 

AFED President Dr. David San Juan recommended that the University should consider studying the Academy more closely before proceeding with the plan, as current systems are “already effective” and the proposed structural changes might just be a concern in the long run.

San Juan cautioned that combining LCC and SHS courses, which he notes are different in nature, will dilute the quantity and quality of LCC courses and potentially weaken small- and medium-sized departments.

He also argued that simultaneously following the mandates of the Commission on Higher Education and Department of Education simultaneously could be “a regulatory nightmare,” given how the Academy is a single entity of secondary and higher education units. 

Concerns on additional costs and disruptions in teaching load were raised by AFED as well. “Considering that the admin is always pointing out the need for financial sustainability, retaining the current setup is more practical,” the association’s notes read.

The affiliation of SHS faculty—whether they would be part of AFED or the IS Faculty Association—was also a point of confusion among faculty members. Roleda then clarified that it is to the discretion of SHS faculty as a unit to decide which organization they would join.

Bea Francine Isuga

By Bea Francine Isuga

Philip Matthew Molina

By Philip Matthew Molina

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