IN HIS two-year stint as vice-rector for academic affairs, Dr. Armando de Jesus has evaluated the University’s academic curriculum and negotiated the collective bargaining agreement between academic employees and UST. Now in his final year, he is determined to accomplish his remaining plans, including the introduction of a standardized syllabus in the Department of General Education.

“I do not look beyond my term and I just do whatever I can because nobody’s indispensable,” De Jesus told the Varsitarian.

To accommodate students who are working and do not have much time to write a thesis, De Jesus introduced the non-thesis track in the Graduate School.

In addition, the Expanded Tertiary Education and Equivalency Program, a program that resembles the non-thesis track, was also introduced to help busy students who will only be required to present their “portfolio” and take a couple of units to complete an academic degree.

Business tycoon Lucio Tan was among those given an equivalency doctorate degree in Commerce.

It was also during De Jesus’ term that the Institute of Technical Courses was removed and replaced by six short-term certificate courses.

De Jesus also caused the conversion of the librarians’ status from non-academic to academic. They are now referred to as the “non-teaching faculty.”

“We have also introduced the online faculty evaluation and started the process of computerizing faculty records,” De Jesus said.

De Jesus is now supervising the standardization of general education courses for Filipino, History, Literature, Spanish and English.

As part of his planned network with other institutions, De Jesus proposed to the European Union another possible international research collaboration, called the Asia Link program, with the participation of Porto University in Portugal, University of Avignon in France and University of Atmajaya in Indonesia.

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The University has also increased its number of possible international research collaborations with five other Asian universities under the International Federation of Catholic Universities, including universities from Lebanon, India, Thailand and Indonesia.

De Jesus said he views his stint as an academic boss as a challenge and a “powerful” learning opportunity.

“Work is not really just something you do for the sake of doing it,” De Jesus said in his speech last June 28 during the testimonial dinner for UST’s new certified public accountants. “When things come to you unbidden, it must be for a reason.”

De Jesus said whoever would replace him must be open-minded.

“You cannot have a road that is totally smooth,” he said. “It is only important that you should know how to address and overcome the challenges.” Edsel Van d.T. Dura

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