TEACHING is a vocation that is not only nourished inside the academe.

This was the response of UST Faculty Union President Gil Gamilla to the statement of Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa O.P., who said during the Rector’s Report last Nov. 7 that faculty promotions should continue to be based on merit.

Gamilla, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, said there are two ways for a faculty member to be promoted: by obtaining the required “meritorious points” or by earning a post-graduate degree.

Through the point-based system, a professor can be promoted by simply accumulating the required points, even if he or she is still finishing a post-graduate degree or not doing any graduate school work at all.

“If a professor is promoted by merits, the highest rank he could reach is only assistant professor,” Gamilla told the Varsitarian.

Faculty members who hold master’s degrees can be promoted up to associate professor. Those with do ctorate degrees can obtain the rank of full professor.

During the Rector’s Report last month, De la Rosa said: “I fear the day when faculty promotions are just automatic, without due consideration to the faculty member’s willingness to improve himself or herself as a professional by attaining a post-graduate degree.”

With the approval of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), De la Rosa noted that industrial peace brought about by a cordial relationship between the management and employees has been prevailing in UST for a long time.

De la Rosa told faculty members and administrators that the University continues to fund sabbatical leaves and study grants, which amounted to P5.6 million last year. Also, scholarship grants reached P1.5 million last year.

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These programs aim to improve the faculty profile and encourage more faculty members to earn points to meet promotion criteria, which takes into account academic preparation, teaching, and administrative and professional experience, he said.

According to the new CBA, “although a master’s degree is an entry requirement, a faculty member admitted to serve the University without a master’s degree shall finish his master’s degree in five (5) semesters.”

This provision gives a faculty member a chance to teach and at the same time earn a post-graduate degree, Gamilla said.

However, Gamilla stressed that having graduate degrees does not necessarily reflect best teaching practices.

“There are faculty members who have decided not to take post-graduate studies because of financial or personal reasons, but they still want to impart their knowledge and serve the students,” said Gamilla.

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