February 19, 2016, 7:07p.m. – UNLIKE other schools that have begun retrenching regular staff, UST will retain nearly 1,200 tenured faculty despite the full implementation of the K to 12 basic education reform that will cut college enrollment next academic year, Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said.

“As far as the tenured faculty of the University, we will have no displacement at all. According to Dr. [Pilar] Romero (Senior High School principal), we are now in the hiring mode, meaning to say, we need more faculty,” Fr. Dagohoy said in a chance interview.

The impact will be on non-tenured faculty, which should not really be an issue because they don’t have regular employment status in UST, and may even be employed regularly elsewhere, University officials said.

Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Michael Anthony Vasco said non-tenured faculty members, such as those working part-time or with fixed two-year contracts, had been briefed by department chairs on the possibility that they won’t be able to teach next academic year.

“Kahit naman sino gusto pang magturo. Kaya lang you have to face reality here. The reality is ang uunahin nating prayoridad ay `yung 1,185 na tenured. Sila muna ang kailangang gawan ng paraan,” Vasco said in an interview.

Romero also said it was uncertain whether non-tenured faculty members would be able to teach in the University next term. “We have obligations towards the tenured faculty members. We cannot be sacrificing our tenured faculty just so we can accommodate the non-tenured,” she said in a separate interview.


Letter of intent required

To prevent layoffs, the administration is in the process of transferring tenured college faculty to the soon-to-be-opened UST Senior High School (SHS), which will offer Grades 11 and 12, the two additional years required by K to 12.

Requiring Grades 11 and 12 will lead to a significant reduction in enrollment in college programs for the years 2016 to 2022. There will practically be no college freshmen in 2016 and 2017.

The government is preparing measures to cushion the impact of K to 12, such as temporary financial assistance for displaced college teachers.

Romero said college faculty who won’t have teaching loads next academic year were asked to submit letters of intent to teach in Senior High. Transfer guidelines require faculty members to have master’s degrees. A professional teacher’s license is not required but is an “advantage.”


500 applicants for 200 slots

A document obtained by the Varsitarian showed that 529 teachers submitted their letters of intent last Dec. 18, the deadline set by the SHS. Only 200 teachers are needed.

Of the total, 352 were tenured faculty members, while 36 were non-tenured. Seventy-seven faculty members were under fixed-term contracts while 32 were part-timers. Seven National Service Training Program instructors and 23 outsiders submitted their intent letters as well.

Among the tenured faculty, science teachers submitted the most number of intent letters with 69 applications, followed by 30 English teachers, 27 religion teachers and 17 Filipino teachers.

In a memo dated Dec. 11, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo said faculty members may request to be transferred to SHS or get teaching assignments subject to availability of loads.

Faculty members who will be transferred to the SHS will maintain their affiliation with their college or faculty and will be on “borrowed” status, she said. Borrowed faculty members with maintain their respective ranks and rates.

Carillo said non-tenured faculty must coordinate closely with their department chairs to find out if they would get teaching loads in the University during the K to 12 transition. Otherwise, they will have to look for jobs outside UST.

“We will offer Senior High and we can get our faculty from our tertiary level. There are a lot of high schools that will open senior high but they don’t really have faculty members yet to handle those highly specialized subjects. The non-tenured can also try applying in these high schools,” Carillo said in an interview.


End of contract

Non-tenured faculty under fixed terms are set to end their contracts on May 31, 2016. There are 160 non-tenured “fixed-termers” in the University, 56 of them in Artlets and 16 each in the College of Science and College of Nursing, a document obtained by the Varsitarian showed.

Ronald Castillo, an Artlets political science instructor and fixed-term faculty member, said his fate next academic year was uncertain. “They all believe in my skills. The only thing is the impact of K to 12. There is really no place to stay. But I know they are all trying to find ways for me to stay,” Castillo said. Jerome P. Villanueva


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