Sep 132014
 

1. One of the main problems of this present administration is that it doesn’t appreciate the Latin phrase-primus inter pares- first among equals. Either that, or they just want to ignore this or they don’t know what it means.

2. We are governed by this principle, because we are a university- a community of scholars with diverse interests, different areas of specialization, and different fields of expertise. In other words, we are a non-hierarchical institution.

3. In this context, an administrator, once an ordinary faculty members himself, should respect the views of his colleagues. He is not like King Arthur, who, upon drawing the excalibur, claimed sovereignty over the rest of England because he was divinely ordained. Whether he was or was not, is not important, what was important was that people believed him and soon, this became the basis of the monarchical rule in England. In political science, this is called the divine right theory of kings.

4. This was the basis of the monarchical system in England until the different sectors revolted and demanded “no taxation without representation” and eventually leading to what we call now as the parliamentary system, elitist but democratic. Members of the parliament are elected by the people of England and the monarchy, though still existing, can no longer make policies or interfere with the process.

5. Administrators in the university are either appointed by a higher body or in some instances, voted in office. (For example, the faculty and the staff regents are selected through the electoral process). For an institution that calls itself democratic, this is anachronistic and self-contradictory. This is the reason why we have problems right now; the dean insists that there are rules promulgated by the BOR which he used in his decision-making process. But a close scrutiny of the rules of the BOR shows that these rules are not infallible. They are reflective of the divergent interests and views so common in UP.

6. IT IS THIS LIGHT THAT I TRIED TO SHOW WHY SOME RULES INSIDE THE UNIVERWITY ARE ASININE AND CONTRADICTORY (refer to some of my previous blogs). BUT MY COMMENTS HAVE FALLEN ON DEAF EARS (but this is not the main issue in this case).

7. Going back to the problem at hand, the dean, like other administrators who insist that they have the “management prerogative” to do so, because after all, it is necessary that he can work with the chairs, is glossing over an important component in a non-hierarchical organization. Non-hierarchical organizations require cooperation, collegiality, and peer respect. It must employ diplomacy rather than threats because the source of its power is questionable.

8. When he affirms the appointment of a person not chosen by the majority; (because he is afraid to turn it into a popularity contest), he is using his own convenience as a criterion and disregarding those of us who will interact with his appointee on a regular basis. What management principle is he using to justify this anomaly?

9. The democratic process is by its nature a popularity contest. But we cannot and should not liken this to the ordinary electoral process where the likes of Erap, Bong Revilla, Lito Lapid et al. get elected. We have stringent rules in the admission of faculty members. If there is respect in the process and respect to the members of the department, the dean should not substitute his judgment to the collective judgment of his peers.

10. Finally, I want to reiterate the call of Prof. Roland Simbulan and the rest of the DSS faculty; throw the problem back to us and allow us to resolve this problem. Do not act like some petty dictator (infecting some members of your management team) who think that they own the university and resort to power politics when they, at the end of the day, also eat shit like the rest of us.

   

 

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