Southern Leyte State U presidential hopefuls lay down specifics of their plans
Dr. Juanita M. Costillas and Dr. Jude A. Duarte, the two remarkable presidential candidates vying to be the 4th Southern Leyte State University President, faced each other on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 during the public forum and presented their respective visions for the university.
During the event, each candidate was given 15 minutes to present their plans and programs should they be elected as the next president.
While the other one presents his or her plans and proceeds right away to the question-and-answer session, the other candidate will be taken into secluded area at the Hotel de SLSU and has to surrender his or her phones and other gadgets.
To listen to the presidential hopefuls were members of the search committee: Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Chancellor of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, who served as the Chairperson; Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz, President of the West Visayas State University, representing the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC); Dr. Maximo C. Aljibe, Regional Director of the Commission on Higher Education Regional Office VIII (CHEDRO8), representing CHED; Dr. Virginia M. Valdez, President of the Federation of Senior Citizens in Southern Leyte, representing the private sector, and; Mr. Mark Donald S. Oja, Director of the Institute of Arts and Sciences (IAS) in Southern Leyte State U, representing the faculty sector.
Also present during the event were some members of the Board of Regents, University Key Officials, and representatives from the four sectoral groups.
In her message, Officer-In-Charge Dr. Francis Ann R. Sy emphasized the kind of leader Southern Leyte State U needs.
“We need a leader who demonstrates a managerial approach that emphasizes clear and open communication, team orientation, the ability and willingness to delegate authority and hold people accountable, and a commitment to the prioritize serving for the greater good. Like most effective leaders, our next steward must be able to balance the need to engage in appropriate levels of collaboration and consultation with the essential ability to make timely and informed decisions,” Dr. Sy stated.
She also stressed out that the University does not need a “perfect leader” but rather someone who “asks questions and makes mistakes with the promise to actively listen to his or her people and take accountability of his or her mistakes.”
Whoever wins will succeed Dr. Prose Ivy G. Yepes as the University President.
Dr. Duarte’s Plans for Southern Leyte State U
The order of the presentation was determined through drawing of lots. First in the podium was Dr. Jude A. Duarte.
With his vision for the Southern Leyte State U to become a “university of the future defined by competitiveness and resilience,” he believes that being a university of the future is the ultimate direction of any higher education in the world, defined by competitiveness and relevance where the former is gauge by global recognition and the latter as a manifestation of the university's resiliency and sustainable mechanism.
His mission is for the Southern Leyte State U to commit to be acculturated with research and innovation gearing towards resilience and sustainability for glocal (global and local) recognition.
Dr. Duarte came up with a conceptual framework for Southern Leyte State U as part of his strategic goals for 2023-2026. He believes that in this volatile world, the university needs a metaverse in education, meta-leadership, financial management and stability, people-centered management, and green technology.
In his closing statement, Dr. Duarte quipped that his intention in running for presidency is to share what he can impart to Southern Leyte State U having started his academic career in the same university and being a native in Southern Leyte.
“Standing before you is a calibrated, future-tested University President. I am not anymore after of glamour nor foreign travels… You need a visionary leader who can easily change gears when confronted with challenges caused by uncertainty of times. After serving LNU, my desire is to extend my service Southern Leyte State University.” Dr. Duarte added.
Vision of Dr. Costillas when chosen to be the next President
With her tagline “SLSU geared to serve, to lead, and to build,” Dr. Juanita M. Costillas envisions Southern Leyte State U as “a leading university that nurtures knowledge advancement, community service, and human resource development for an inclusive society.”
If chosen to be the next president, in order to attain her proposed vision, Dr. Costillas vowed to make Southern Leyte State University to promote socio-economic and environemental developments through innovative and resiliesnt approaches and community service with empowered human resources, and to produce graduates equipped with knowledge and 21st century skills that enable them to contribute to economic development.
Dr. Costillas also came up with core values: Resilience, Integrity, Spirituality, and Excellence. According to her, her vision and mission must be anchored on these core values so that everything that she envisions for the university will be realized.
Dr. Costillas also shared her eight developmental goals which include innovation in education, advanced knowledge products, enhanced community productivity, transparent, responsive, and empowering governance, versatile talent management, advanced physical and digital infrastructure, sustainable resource generation, and strengthened alumni and external engagements.
With the said vision, mission, and goals, Dr. Costillas presented her 8-year roadmap from 2023-2030 where Southern Leyte State U manifests empowerment and collaboration, sustained internationalization and globalization, quality performance, recognitions, and excellence.
Before she left the podium, Dr. Costillas said that the call for the 4th University President is not a call for a personal improvement nor a call of just filling a position.
“[Being a president is] a call of a greater service and impact to our students, the community, and the country. Hence, I envisioned Southern Leyte State University to be a leading higher education institution that nurtures knowledge advancement, community service, and human resource development for an inclusive society that is geared to serve, to lead and to build,” Dr. Costillas added.
Right after each candidate’s presentation, they were immediately asked the same questions which came from four sectoral groups—2 questions from the students, 2 from the faculty, 2 from the administrative staff, and 2 from the alumni. Each candidate was only given 2 minutes to answer each of the question.
The questions were collected and underwent an evaluation by Southern Leyte State U's Search Committee for Presidency.
Each of the candidate had to answer the same eight questions from the four sectoral groups.
The aspirants were asked about the programs to enhance university life experience for students, their opinions on student activism and how will they address it, compromised teaching jobs of the faculty because of the administrative job designations, promotions, retrieval of data of the alumni and their participation to alumni-related activities.
After the Public Forum, the presidential went through the closed-door interview as part of the selection process for the next Southern Leyte State U President.
The declaration of the newest president is expected to happen on January 23, 2023 at CHED Central Office in Manila as indicated in the search timeline approved by Southern Leyte State U's Board of Regents.