NEW OFFICIALS have been appointed to the Department of Information and Computer Studies (ICS) as it prepares to break away from the Faculty of Engineering next academic year.

ICS now has three departments and is a separate branch under Engineering, said Alex Santos, newly-appointed assistant dean in-charge of the department, in an interview last Aug. 1.

“[We] have a common dean but there are two separate branches, Engineering [and] ICS. And we now have three department chairs for each program. Before, we had the ICS department catering to all programs,” said Santos.

The department will become a separate college in the first semester of Academic Year 2014-2015, said Santos.

Along with Santos, other officials appointed were: Jerralyn Padua as faculty secretary, Perla Cosme as Computer Science chair, Mia Eleazar as Information Technology (IT) chair, and Christopher Ladao as Information Systems chair.

There were proposals to spin off the ICS into a separate college in the past years but the formal plan of the separation was initiated by Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo, said Santos, a former ICS department chair.

Late last year, Carillo asked for a meeting regarding the plan and formed a committee to study its feasibility, Santos said.

Increasing population

The increasing student population is one of the reasons for making ICS an independent college.

“The population of ICS increased lately. [W]e’re more than 2,000 in terms of student population,” Santos said.

The new assistant dean said the upcoming separation will also give way to more specialized courses in information and computer studies.

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“Because the education system is evolving, this will force us to really become specialized in different areas,” he said, adding that with the establishment of a new college for ICS, the University would be able to produce more IT practitioners in answer to growing market demand.

“I guess, the most important driver as regards the move is the high demand [for] IT professionals. We observed [that] after Nursing, there was an increase in the demand for IT practitioners,” he said.

There are still no plans to move ICS to another building. The formal name of the new college has yet to be determined because the department is still focusing on “strategic planning” for the separation.

However, there will definitely be a change in uniforms of students, which is “always a part of [every] separation,” Santos said.

The Department of Information and Computer Studies was established in 1999 through a consortium of three colleges: the Faculty of Engineering, the College of Commerce, and the College of Science. It remained under of the College of Science from its foundation until it became part of the Faculty of Engineering in 2004. Lord Bien G. Lelay

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