RESPONSE AT TESTIMONIAL DINNER
HOSTED BY THE BOR & PRES. ROMAN
former Faculty Regent Roland G. Simbulan, 2006
(Attended by past and present BOR members, U.P. system and C.U.officials, & U.P. colleagues and friends, Balay Tsanselor, U.P. Diliman, October 2, 2007)
It is indeed an honor to join you in this most auspicious occasion. It is a privilege to give my greetings to the Board of Regents and the U.P. President who have so honored us with this testimonial gathering.
On the eve of our Centennial as a University, we in the faculty are proud that the U.P. Academic Personnel Union –composed system-wide of faculty and REPS — has been duly accredited by the Civil Service Commission as the sole bargaining association in the University, and that there are on-going negotiations for the first Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) with the faculty and REPS academic union in the history of U.P.. I am confident that this will go a long way in advancing the welfare, rights and interests of our faculty and academic staff towards a road of goodwill and high morale. It is a road that builds on a common goal for a democratic and participatory university. The U.P. Academic Personnel Union shall be a partner, anchor and organized mass base of the position of Faculty Regent who represents the interests of the rank and file faculty of the U.P. System.
The greater, immediate challenges lie ahead of us, in our task of upholding an excellent and accessible university, that respects our diversity. Hopefully, this aspiration will soon be institutionalized in a new U.P. Charter that will finally be passed into law. This charter must assure the continued access of the broader, larger, sectors of our society to the fruits of excellence. For U.P. has always been measured by the open nature of its access policies and programs to poor students who may never have the opportunity or chance to attend an excellent institution of higher learning such as ours. This is most essential to the tasks for which U.P. was created as a State University in 1908, and it is most essential why the Filipino people continue to maintain and subsidize our great institution.
I am here tonight as one who has shared with you our institution’s traditions, and perhaps even in its renewal as well as contested thrusts and directions on its coming Centennial. Dispassionate reflection as well as passionate debate have always been at the heart of our intellectual enterprise not only in the classroom, University Council meetings, but also in the meetings of the Board of Regents. The tradition of open debate, enquiry and challenge remains fundamental to the life of the University, an intellectual fermentation that we need towards the renewal of our University and transformation for true people’s empowerment in our fragile democracy. The virtual life and death needs of our people and society crying out for the elimination of poverty and true people’s development always weigh so heavily with our scholars, teachers, students, administrators, even at the BOR.
Members of the Board, Madame President, I wish you well with the great task of leading our institution along the paths of renewal, as we enter our Centennial, as our country seeks its much needed regeneration and renewal. U.P. must become part of the exciting project of social transformation, otherwise it is not U.P..
I thank you once more for this great honor, and to be again, in the company of good friends in the Board of Regents and colleagues in the administration and faculty of the University, which is always a pleasurable and a happy occasion.
Mabuhay ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in Oct 10th 2007