THE OFFICE of the Rector has appointed three new general education department heads, who vowed to strengthen the University’s research and faculty profile.

Camilla Vizconde, Arlene Calara, and Luciana Urquiola, professors from the College of Education, Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets), and AMV-College of Accountancy, were named chairs of the English, Social Sciences, and Literature departments, respectively.

Vizconde, who replaced Artlets professor Marilu Madrunio, plans to strengthen the language center of the department for English and Filipino languages through short courses in Spanish, French, Nihongo, Korean, Mandarin, and 12 other major Philippine languages.

“[The language center] has been existing but it hasn’t really gained great awareness within the University,” she told the Varsitarian.

Vizconde added that a department journal should be established to contribute to UST’s research. There should also be a Professorial Chair in Linguistics and Language Education to recognize experts in the field of linguistics.

“Faculty members are strongly encouraged to finish their [doctorate degrees] in universities [abroad]. Obtaining degrees are actually part of the long-term goals,” she added.

The department also wants to put up a training arm for workshops, community, and extension services, which should lead to master’s degree programs.

Meanwhile, Calara, who replaced Fernando Pedrosa, said she would standardize social science courses in all academic units, and align faculty members according to their field of specialization.

“It is my target to extend all possible assistance and encouragement to undertake academic development activities for the department,” Calara said, adding that she would also encourage faculty members to obtain post-graduate degrees.

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An appeal to the common sense

Urquiola, who replaced Artlets professor Joyce Arriola, plans to immerse the faculty in research since general education subjects will be integrated to the two-year senior high school curriculum as prescribed by the K to 12 Basic Education program of the Department of Education.

“Most of us (Literature professors) will be dislocated because not everyone in the department has [taken] licensure exams for teachers,” she said. “The solution for that is to involve the faculty in research. Instead of giving a teaching load, it can be replaced by a research load.”

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