MascariƱas lays 2021 Thrusts, Priorities

Monday February 22,2021

During the 2021 Opening Meeting and Pre-Planning Meeting, Bicol University President Arnulfo M. Mascariñas presented this year’s thrust and priorities via videoconference on January 12, 2020.

He discussed the construction and completion of facilities in the university. This year, BU targets to finish the construction of BU Polangui Campus Multipurpose Gymnasium, the Two-Storey BU College of Agriculture and Forestry Dormitory, and the Infirmary Building. On the other hand, the construction for the College of Law Building will commence as well as the conversion of BU Research Extension Program Center Building to Business Incubation and Display Center.

Since the onslaught of typhoons last year, renovation, rehabilitation, and repairs were necessary to take place particularly at the Aquilino P. Bonto Building, Arcilla Buidling, and some damaged roofs, ceilings, windows, including building re-painting.  

After adjusting to the ‘new normal’, BU will ensure observance of protocols and corresponding support system for the well-being of personnel and stakeholders such as provision of face masks and face shields to BU personnel especially the frontliners; Putting up of sanitation/hand-washing stations and foot and tire baths at all entrances and exits (one entrance-one exit policy); Installation of automatic/ ’sensorized’ alcohol dispenser and thermal scanners in building entrances Installation of table barriers as preventive measure; Regular disinfection of buildings/facilities and vehicles; Reconfiguring office and conference areas to meet the required social distance; Provision of transportation support to BU personnel esp. frontliners; Support for other possible platforms for flexible learning delivery such as other than the usual online platforms like radio, TV, and modules.

In order to fully adapt to the flexible and blended learning, BU will be upgrading facilities, equipment, and infrastructure in support of the establishment of a SMART campus. This will improve internet connectivity, the Learning Management System, procure ICT equipment and peripherals, and subscription to online journals and other learning materials.

To lessen face-to-face contact in office procedures and processes, BU will be developing information systems for Human Resource Management, Document Tracking, Online Student Clearance, Procurement Information Management, Records Management, and Faculty Workload Information Management.

On the other hand, Research and Extension will redirect its undertakings to Programs, Projects, and Activities (PPAs) that address problems related to COVID-19 by implementing Short-term desk researchers using secondary data, policy analysis, online survey, and meta-data analysis; Conducting laboratory experiment/analysis; Techno-demonstration of projects and online technology dissemination; and Writeshops and mentoring support for faculty publication.

Through business incubation, BU will promote technology commercialization on the inventory of Research and Development outputs for possible technology incubation, technology assessment, and mature technologies.

This year, BU will review and revise some curricular programs: General Education Curriculum and other major courses/subject will be re-tracked or re-distributed; reversion of engineering courses to 5-year degree program with immersion in the final year; Possible integration of BU College of Industrial Technology and College of Engineering degree programs; Adoption of common subjects for certain graduate degree programs; and involvement of key stakeholders in curricular review.

BU will also continually review and revise policies in support to operation of higher education, advanced education, research, and extension programs. This will enable BU to adopt big class size, ‘international’ enrollment scheme, centralization of common utilities for greater efficiency, and functionality of designations and work equivalent credit.

For the program accreditation, ISO audit, and QS Star Ranking, BU aims to meet 80% target for undergraduate programs and 70% for graduate programs in quality assurance and program accreditation.

This year will see the groundwork for the conversion of BU to a regional university including plans to establish a national Research and Development center for the pili industry.