Thursday, April 18, 2024

Search continues for new SU VPDEEA

By Genno Gabriel Rabaya | February 1, 2024

Silliman University (SU) administration continues its search for the next Vice President of Development, Enterprise, and External Affairs (VPDEEA), while Dr. Betty Cernol McCann, university president, momentarily sits as officer-in-charge of the said office. 

Dr. Lourdes Angela Piñero, SU Human Resource Development (HRD) Director, explained that the university conducted the organizational development (OD) process that coincided with the ending of former VPDEEA Asst. Prof. Jane Annette Belarmino’s term last Dec. 31, 2023.

“[The] OD takes care of looking at how we can be better in terms of function or defining functions [and] defining roles. And that also means looking at options to better match people with what they do and what they’re expected to do,” she explained.

Some administrative changes include placing the Office of Information and Publications under the supervision of the university president; placing the university printing press under the VPDEEA office; and extracting the Human Resource Development office and the Information and Communications Technology Division from the Vice President for Finance and Operations’ office. 

The said changes were approved on Jan. 10, 2022, but only implemented recently due to ongoing developments in the “transition period” in the university’s structure.

Dr. Piñero noted that the administrative changes in the university’s offices were due to “the [growing] demands of certain things from the organizational point of view.”

“We’re trying to see if there might be a person who can be a better fit [for the position],” she said.

Dr. Piñero added that the OD process ensures a “more careful” and objective approach in appointing someone to the office.

Belarmino’s notable achievements

Belarmino was appointed VP of Development (VPD) on Nov. 1, 2012.

According to the SU Manual, the VPD is in charge of the “monitoring and reviewing of strategic and development plans of the University.” The position was reformed as VPDEAA after the restructuring.

With this position, Belarmino was able to accomplish several achievements for the university’s development.

In 2018, Belarmino was invited to be a part of the 2018 British Council Confab on International Education in Malaysia, with Silliman being one of only ten universities in the Philippines invited under the Joint Development of Niche Programs, a transnational education program.

To “discuss potential collaborations,” Belarmino met with representatives from First Philippine Holdings Corporation and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in March 2019.

During Belarmino’s term, the pandemic posed a great challenge for the developments and classes of SU school year 2020–2021. To address this, the office of the VPD was able to push for donations for scholarships and student assistance programs.

Among the available supplemental assistance programs were the Dr. Mariano Lao SOS Fund, established in January 2020, and the Mariano Lao Emergency Support Fund, which commenced in January 2021.

Another significant development was the establishment of the SU Senior High School Building, which began its procurement process in October 2020 and was inaugurated on Dec. 6, 2023.

In Belarmino’s term as VPDEEA, under the instruction of the SU Board of Trustees, the SU – Dr. Mariano Lao Global Studies Center was established in 2022 to utilize virtual education methods for diverse and distance learning, following the “shift in the education landscape.”

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