Effective Public Service through Mentor Leadership
Ricardo P. Babaran Ph.D.
Professor and UP Scientist 1
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UP Visayas
Vision: A university that upholds excellence in delivering relevant and reliable services to the community especially prioritizing the welfare of fishers and residents of coastal communities.
1. The Babaran Administration
The mandates of UPV support the development goals of the Philippines as a nation. This administration will continue to pursue UPV’s vision by cultivating and mobilizing a corps of mentor-leaders who will be ready to serve the country and the rest of the world as agents of change. This is to let UPV’s image grow bigger, glow brighter, and radiate more warmly and transform the lives of people the university will touch. Inclusivity will mark this administration: suggestions will be heard, and ideas will be valued.
2. Mentor Leadership and Accelerating Diffusion of Positive Change
Mentor leadership, originally espoused by Tony Dungy, is most appropriate for the archipelagic nature the country.This brand of leadership prioritizes people and seeks to add value to their lives. It also aims for things or memories that last and showcases passion, perseverance and good performance for other people to emulate. Mentor leadership and the university are a fit because the university can harness its readily available human resource and potentials to form a core of mentor-leaders and mold them to be civic-minded and love for public service.
3. Building on past successes to initiate new and progressive strides
Embracing the concept of Team UPV involving faculty, students, staff, and alumni - to further strengthen UPV’s presence within the UP System, in the country, and possibly around the world will be the university’s response to make mentor-leadership work. We can better appreciate the benefits of our engagements when all of us take joy in spreading the load of promoting the UP brand as well as UPV’s core values of Service, Excellence, Integrity, Nationalism, and Environmental Stewardship, (SEINE) which are compliant with many of 17 Sustainable Development Goals espoused by the United Nations.
4. Synergy for better operational outcomes
As a public service university, UPV shall continue implementing undergraduate programs that will largely cater to the sector it is mandated to serve. At the graduate level, the strengthening of residence-based graduate programs based at the colleges will be strongly pursued; however, innovative special programs shall also be introduced to pioneer necessary initiatives that will allow UPV to contribute to national development, including a) the re-introduction of the Graduate School, b) aiming to make UPV’s campus in Miagao as The Hub for Institutional Synergy, Integration, Sustainability, and Impact Transfer (or THIS IS IT!) and c) Deepening UPV’s community engagements.
UPV Graduate School
The Graduate Program Office shall be re-invented into a Graduate School to realize a new level of graduate education excellence for UPV. The UPV Graduate School, supported by the Regional Research Center is envisioned to implement inter- and trans-disciplinary programs that will involve several academic units, that are largely anchored on research and creative work, and will be mostly non-residential in nature. It shall be the key unit for promoting institutional mentoring initiatives that are much needed by state universities and colleges throughout the country; and for linking and benchmarking UPV with the rest of the world. Pursuing this track will not only promote better operational and financial efficiencies but will also substantially expand UPV’s contribution to the requirements of the country for national development. The establishment of the Graduate School is also expected to help UPV realize its aim of becoming the ASEAN Center for Fisheries, which would allow UPV to promote and strengthen the formulation of national and region-wide policies related to fisheries and allied fields. Setting up this center is in line with UPV’s internationalization efforts as this center will enable local and international researchers and students intensive and sustained academic and scholarly engagements in the university.
THIS IS IT! Program
UPV’s claim to be on a par with the best in the region and the rest of the world would be realized if its main campus in Miagao attains a certain distinction as The Hub for Institutional Synergy, Integration, Sustainability, and Impact Transfer (or THIS IS IT!) for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. THIS IS IT! seek to address not just the disconnect between UP and the rest of society but also seeks to provide the framework to assist UPV’s institutional partners in serving the community. This will only be realized if all teaching and non-teaching aspects of UPV’s operations are guided by appropriate quality assurance standards and protocols. This novel initiative will promote financial sustainability, maximize productivity, maintain quality standards, translate research towards creating products, services, and policies that may work towards sustaining economic activity throughout the country. Realizing greater impacts to communities would be achieved by re-launching UPV’s Paaralang Dagat (Para sa Bayan) as a platform for disseminating information and soliciting feedback to improve internal policies.
Deepening Community Engagements with UPV’s FACES
UPV Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Community Engagement Strategy (UPV’s FACES) integrates research and creative work with public/extension service by allowing researchers not just to translate research results through effective communication strategies but also to develop and improve researchers’ capabilities and social empathy. Fielding of synergy teams will diversify UPV’s FACES and leave good and lasting images of UPV to our partners as well as deepen our engagements with the public. Honor and Excellence that the UP Oblation stands for must always result in a ‘win’, instead of a ‘loss’ or ‘uncertainty’ for our community partners.
5. Protecting UPVs niches through programs that impact the community
UPV Tacloban College (UPVTC) is probably the only campus in the entire UP System that continuously experiences the harshest impacts posed by nature to humankind. Rather than merely react to these natural events, the college must capitalize on this geographic reality that no other UP campus can match and be known as a Center for Resilience Studies. Consistent with the ideals of mentor leadership, we shall use this as a platform for supporting UPVTC’s bid to become the 9th full-fledged constituent unit of the UP System so that UPVTC can become the beacon for nurturing progressive change in Region 8 and the rest of the country in this field.
6. Reaching the archipelago through synergy and collaborations
There are other potentially game-changing initiatives that can put UPV in the national and global map screens through collaborations, and the following examples are all open fields for UPV units to demonstrate mentor leadership without necessarily sacrificing the pursuit of excellence:
a) collaboration with other SUCs/HEIs to speed up the process of addressing serious manpower gaps in the food industry of Region 6 and the country;
b) harmonious manpower and specialization gaps in disciplines dealing with food science, culinary arts, management and marketing, sociology and communications to collectively provide fisheries management interventions that will arrest or reduce the declining state of our resources;
c) introduction of livelihood generation programs based on citizen science that will fulfill the requirements of DOLE, DSWD, TESDA, and LGUs; and,
d) introduction of solutions through technology-enabled interventions if possible, to support the regulatory functions of DA-BFAR and the LGUs.
7. FISHERIES & AQUATIC SCIENCES 4.0 – A Master Plan for Technology
UPV will have a master plan for FISHERIES/AQUATIC SCIENCE 4.0, which calls for the use of technology like robotics, sensors, drones, and development of Artificial Intelligence applications to promote, among other things, more viable fisheries operations. The plan will surely support the aspirations of the Philippines in a competitive global arena. However, for local applications, this shall be matched by a plan to support a tourism that puts a cap to the negative impacts of unbridled technological innovation by integrating more sustainable local ecological knowledge through culture and the arts.
We also need to continue reaching out to our alumni; many of them have vast networks, are well entrenched in many corporations throughout the world, and are just waiting for UPV to involve them. A comprehensive strategy will be conducted immediately to explore where their assistance can be harnessed effectively to extend UPV’s footprint in the global arena.
8. General welfare, health, and wellness programs for UP Constituents
The pursuit of excellence should not compromise the general welfare of University’s constituents. Health and wellness programs shall also be creatively integrated as part of the university’s initiatives to arrest emerging and prevalent cases of lifestyle diseases among UPV constituents and the marginalized poor.