By Francis Ryan B. Pabiania | February 15, 2021
The adopted resolution from the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Student Assembly that proposed to prevent students acquiring failing-grades was considered against the usual policy making process of the university.
In an interview with Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, he said the standards and policies relating to students’ promotion, retention and “all the policies” from enrollment to completion of the program should be based on the university processes.
“The best thing that they can do if the students cannot comply, is an INC, to give the student/s a kind of a chance [or] an opportunity to complete, but setting an upright policy of no ‘F’, as I’ve said is already against the usual policy making process of the university,” he said.
Cleope pointed out that the university is a ‘private university’ which has certain rules, processes and systems of how policies are being made, and setting a parameter or an upright policy of no ‘F grades’ was already beyond the concept of “academic freedom”.
He also explained that there are many students who did and tried their best, but there are still competencies and assessment procedures to be considered, otherwise, he said that it will open to create “floodgate for all problems.”
“I think as of the moment we cannot act on that (adopted resolution) because we still think that the more essential aspects of soul be and even adjusting to the new normal is making sure that the ODL, and the blended and the flexible learning that the university is trying to do will get better,” Cleope told the Weekly Sillimanian.
He reiterated that the university has a unique tradition with certain laws and systems that have to be respected. He also acknowledged the concerns and ‘voice’ of students.
“They have to respect what’s our system, and yes we hear them but they cannot just submit a resolution and wish and maybe expect that the resolution will be accepted — hook line and sinker,” he said.
However, Cleope is “not closing doors” for discussions. Within February, he was set for a formal discussion of the resolution at the Deans’ Conference, and appointed a meeting with the SUSG, College Deans, and among others.
He also cited that his statements were also based on the college deans’ thoughts of the said resolution from their initial discussion online.
Moreover, Cleope shared that the STRAW Committee wants to re-evaluate some of the ODL guidelines, and he thinks that it’s “all for the best delivery” of the ODL system.
“I will put a premium on what they feel is better, ayaw lang na ang ‘No-F policy,” he said.
When asked about the recent rankings of the university, he said that they are more concerned with how effective the university’s education delivery is and not for ranking.
He cited that the university is more concerned with accreditation of its 13 programs and the wellbeing of students, faculty and staff especially as they currently work on ‘mental health.’
“Hopefully we will be able to sustain this, then God willing, we will be back to the new normal. But I know that the new normal will not be full face to face. There has to be flexible, and there has to be good practices of ODL that will now be imputed in how we deliver learning – the Silliman University way,” he ended.