The Dean’s 100-day Report
Here is my 100-day report, give or take a few weeks. I assumed office on the first working day of the year, January 4, 2010. The past 3 months have been an eye opener on what the job of being the Dean requires. I was ready for the things that have to be done in school with regard to governance and academic matters. What came as a big surprise were the number of meetings I had to attend and the volume of paper work I had to read, process and comply with. Not to mention the correspondence that you only have time to do at home, after office hours. Most stressful time was finding out that the College has not been submitting documents required by other UP Manila offices. We had to scramble and come up with the documents that should have been submitted months ago. Nevertheless, we lost no time in putting things in order and complying with the entire backlog.
I volunteered to serve as Dean because I want the College to re-focus its attention on academics. This administration will be judged primarily on how it is able to improve the graduation rate. I’ve been an optimist all my life and I will categorize the first 100 days as generally productive, notwithstanding what happened to Class 2010. I will expound on this, shortly. Firstly, let me say that I owe what we have accomplished so far to everybody in school, especially the Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Section Heads and the faculty. The DAC consists of Dr. Tristan Ramos, College Secretary, Dr. Heherson Tumang, Chair of the Dept. of Clinical Dental Health Sciences, Dr. Arlissa Aguiluz, Chair of the Dept. of Basic Dental Health Sciences and Dr. Elsie de Castro, Chair of the Dept. of Community Dentistry. The following are the Section Heads: Dr. Melanie Karganilla-Frange, Oral Medicine Section, Dr. Angelina Atienza, Restorative Dentistry Section and Dr. Charleton Atienza, Prosthodontics Section. When we came in, we immediately focused our attention on academics. Dr. Tumang and the Clinical Committee immediately reviewed and made recommendations for modifications on the clinical policies of the ten disciplines. For my part, I made sure that all the logistical support (i.e. repair of the defective dental units and ensuring the supply of materials) was provided. The donations received greatly helped the clinicians in accomplishing their Oral Surgery and Restorative Dentistry requirements. In mid February, the College was also able to resume the advising program wherein clinicians are assigned faculty members of their choice. We also looked into the performance of our clinicians and identified the three who had a fighting chance. They were advised on what to do with the time available and we made representations with the sections to exempt them from certain policies. However, it is unfortunate that despite our best efforts, all three were not able to graduate on time, just as the rest of Class 2010. So for the first time in the history of the College, nobody graduated on time, and it is so ironic that this has to happen during my watch. Ironic because ever since I came back from Japan in 2002, I have been trying to bring this issue to the attention of the head of the College. Indeed, life is full of irony. It has been said that it is not important how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up. And back up from this, the College will. I am not going to issue excuses. Instead, I will tell you what we have learned so far and what we plan to do.
1. There are 6 (out of ten) disciplines that students are finding hard to finish. We will look closely at these disciplines and help the faculty and students with whatever issues they are encountering.
2. The two continuous weeks taken from the clinics so students can do their Community Dentistry activities are just too long. This policy was started only last year, AY 2009-2010. Previously, students only spent 1 week in Comm Dent. I have talked with the Chair of the Dept. of Community Dentistry and we have agreed that only 1 week will be given to them starting this academic year.
3. The attendance of the faculty in the annual PDA convention last year and the disruption of classes due to typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc on the clinicians’ schedule. From now on, the clinics will be adequately manned even if there is a convention like the PDA convention. As I have told the faculty during my first meeting with them, clinical duty is the first priority and all else are secondary. Committee meetings, whether University or College level, lectures outside of school or other forms of extension service and attendance in the convention are all second priority. A system will be developed wherein lost time due to typhoons or for any reason (coup?) will be paid back immediately. This matter will be referred to the Clinical Committee.
4. The system to “bring down the walls” in the clinics was positively received by the students and most faculty members. This system will allow all faculty members, regardless of section or discipline, to check and credit to the student non-core procedures. For example, polishing of amalgam restorations or cementation of crowns and bridges may be done anywhere (aside from the Resto clinics) and any faculty may check (aside from the FPD faculty). The ultimate goal is to put into place a Comprehensive Training and Patient Management Approach system. More on this when we have ironed out all the details.
The college has reached rock bottom. As a response, we will look into ourselves and everything will be scrutinized. The prevailing culture will have to change but this will take time. Everybody including the students will be reminded that this is a 6 year course. This is the best time to call on all concerned, especially the alumni, that we need your help. Some have always been helping the college and the latest addition being class 85. We hope that more will help. They may do so in any form they think is appropriate. Some have volunteered to give motivational talks and that is welcome. We will conduct such talks soon.
Another way that the alumni can help is by volunteering to be Clinical Faculty Without Compensation, or WOCs. The College Academic Personnel Committee has come up with the criteria for hiring WOCs and I am posting it here so those interested will be guided accordingly.
REVISED CRITERIA FOR HIRING NON REGULAR (Senior Lecturer) AND FACULTY WITHOUT COMPENSATION* (WOC)
*as defined in the Faculty Handbook including duties and responsibilities
A. He/ she must preferably be a graduate of the UPCD
B. He/she must preferably be a Filipino citizen. A person of another nationality may be accepted if the applicant approximates the needed high professional and scholastic competence.
If foreigner, he/she must submit the following credentials:
Diploma and Transcript;
Licensure paper in country of origin;
Special permit to work in the Philippines, obtained from the PRC (see RA 9484);
Letter of intent;
Two letters of recommendation from a UPCD alumni;
Specialty documents from the Accredited Professional Organization or academic institution where specialty was obtained.
C. He/she must have passed the Dental Licensure Examination in the Philippines.
D. He/she must have acquired post-graduate dental training or related fields of clinical, education and research, local or foreign.
E. He/she must be a general practitioner with at least two (2) years clinical experience.
F. He/she must show high potential and abilities in the undergraduate education and teaching as shown by his/her grades.
G. He/she must possess moral integrity.
H. He/she must declare pecuniary interests especially those that are related to the dental profession.
I. He/she must preferably have graduated not more than one (1) year after 4th year Dentistry proper.
J. He/she must be acceptable to the majority of the faculty in the section.
K. Other contingent criteria that the CAPC considers relevant.
For those who would like to help their alma mater, please write a letter of intent addressed to me and attach your CV. Also, it would help us if you will tell us what courses/clinical discipline you would like to be involved in and the day/s you will be spending with us. I hope many will share their time and talent because you are needed.
There are many challenges to address and everybody is excited to begin the new academic year. The faculty will meet to discuss the clinical policies and prepare for the opening of classes soon after the end of their faculty leave on May 23. These meetings are aimed at formulating clinical policies that are clear and in line with the mission of the College to come up with safe dental practitioners. The orientation session for the clinicians will be on June 7 so that by June 8, the first day of the academic year, clinics will open and clinicians can immediately work on their requirements.
The College was able to offer to the first batch for this year the Dental Boards Review classes. This endeavor, managed by Dr.Susan Sotelo, will surely add a substantial amount of funds to the school coffers. The same with the first offering of the Comprehensive Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry under Dr. Armin Segarra. Because of the favorable response to this CE course, another offering is planned in July.
There are offers by dental materials companies to donate and I will report on them once their pledges become reality.
There are signs that things will be better academically and administratively.
It is with high hopes that I look forward to the next 100 days.
In closing let me share this from Dr. Heherson Tumang.
“The only way to cope is to embrace change and to realign our priorities. If we are to solve our problems, posing questions are GOOD. Offering ideas are BETTER. Acting on the ideas is BEST!”