CAS Faculty Conference 2016: One CAS, Towards One UP Manila

This year's two-day Faculty Conference of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with its theme “One CAS: Towards One UPM” was held at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City on August 4-5, 2016. The conference aims to foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration among the departments and programs of CAS and align them with the health oriented mandate of UP Manila.

In his welcome remarks, CAS Dean Leonardo R. Estacio Jr. said that as a unit of the health science center of the University of the Philippines, the College of Arts and Sciences has the responsibility of providing the fundamentals related to the physical, biological, humanistic, social, and behavioral dimensions of health, disease and illness. Thus, its curricular offerings and courses must be responsive to the health information needs of the students. To attain maximum partnership and cooperation to achieve health for all Filipinos, disciplinary collaboration among colleges, departments and programs is necessary.

During the conference, the Chairs of the different departments within CAS presented the current status of their academic programs, research agenda and extension work which could serve as the baseline for the department plans for 2016-2019.  They presented a brief history of their academic programs, number of degree programs and a brief description of curriculum. The Chairs also spoke about graduates, where they go in terms of work, to further their education, and the challenges faced by the programs. For research, the Chairs presented the types of research, in terms of focus or content, being done by the department. Also research accomplished in the past 5 years, research collaboration with other departments or colleges, and contributions to policy, programs, technology, innovative methodology and challenges faced. For extension work, the chairs discussed the nature of the extension work done and identified the beneficiaries.  They presented the extension activities accomplished in the last 5 years (whether extension work department-wide activities or by individual faculty member), collaboration with other disciplines, departments or other colleges, the benefits derived by the beneficiaries and by the department/faculty members themselves and also any challenges faced. Series of workshops were conducted with output presentation by each department (academic, research, extension work). Open forum followed after each department presentations. Dr. Maria Constancia O. Carrillo, new CAS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, discussed the mechanics of the workshop. 

On behalf of the UP Manila administration, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla, assured faculty members of her commitment and support to CAS and encouraged them to be more active, especially in research opportunities funded outside the university.  There were approximately 88 faculty members in attendance and Chancellor Padilla afforded them the opportunity to address issues and concerns during a Q&A session. 

The two-day conference ended with a Resolution by the 2016 CAS Special Faculty Council to reaffirm its mandate and the role of the University of the Philippines as a national university in taking the lead in higher education and development, emphasizing the thrust of UP Manila as a national health sciences center.

Prof. Laurie S. Ramiro coordinated the 2016 CAS Faculty Conference. She was the former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the CAS.

Write-up, photos and video:  Dina A. Estanislao

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