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SPEECH OF THE FORMER DEAN OF CAL, DR. IRENE R. MORAL, during THE CEREMONIAL TURN-OVER OF CAL DEANSHIP on January 8, 2023, at the BU Amphitheater

Greetings of a Happy New Year, everyone!

Thank you for attending today’s Ceremonial Turn Over of CAL’s Deanship.  This momentous event is timely because the New Year is the best time to remember the past year’s achievements, set goals, and start a new beginning.  

A famous quote says that for everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Today is the time for me to fulfill the noble task of passing on with both pride and humility CAL’s deanship to my successor, Dr. Adrian Aguilar, whose qualifications best align with CHED’s COPC policies, standards, and guidelines.

I am greatly humbled by the rare opportunity of being able to serve you well as Dean for six months.  I would like to express my sincere gratitude, 

Foremost, to our dynamic President, Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin Nebres III, for choosing and giving me the trust and confidence to lead the college,    

 The vibrant vice presidents, thank you for the immense support you have given me.

 The two hardworking Associate Deans serving in succession – Dr. Agnes Nepomuceno and Prof. Marnie Morano

The competent program chairs and department heads who voluntarily collaborated and worked closely with me:

Dr. Adrian Aguilar, Chair of the Communication Department

Dr. May Antoinnette Imran, Chair of the Literature Department

Dr. Jocelyn Bartolata, Chair of English Language Studies

Dr. Shirley Maloles, Chair of the Performing Arts Department

Prof. Anacito Dematera, Chair of the Broadcasting Department

Prof. Gladys Serafica, Chair of the Journalism Department

Prof. Ramil “Plok” Chavenia, Chair of the Humanities Department  

Dr. Marylet L. Londonio, Chair of the Filipino Department  

The ever-ready College Coordinators

          For Research and Extension – Dr. Ma. Celina Eladia Meneses

          Gender and Development – Dr. Alicia Asaytuno

          Student Activities and Services – Prof. Noel Armeṅa

          NSTP – Dr. Mayen Buenconsejo

The Administrative Head and Non-teaching Staff – headed by the very efficient Ms. Michelle Andes,

Budget Officer – Ms. Cielo Ondevilla

College Registrar – Mr. Antonio Lleva

Accountant – Atty. Charmaine Cabria

Cashier – Ms. Jane Redada

The hardworking and supportive College Student Council Officers and the entire CAL student body,

Kuya Manny and Ate Emma – words may not be enough, but still, I say   

          Thank you.

In life and at work, there are losses and gains, wins and defeats, welcomes and goodbyes. But this morning, I will choose to speak about gains, specifically college gains that we have earned successfully as a TEAM.

Allow me to speak about the College of Arts and Letters in a nutshell during the six months that I served as Dean to provide my successor – Dr. Adrian Aguilar, with a clear take-off point.    

          The College of Arts and Letters is a beautiful college where the love for culture and arts is strongly bred.  It comprises diverse and creative, proactive and reactive, vibrant and vigilant, engaged and highly expressive faculty members and students keeping different ideologies and advocacies.  Hard to handle, as they may seem, and as the people outside of CAL may postulate, at the end of the day, when given a herculean task and provided a direction, they certainly unite, work as a team, and remain cohesive – such is the beauty of working with my colleagues at the College of Arts and Letters – easy, manageable, and flexible.   

My stint as a college Dean was short, but it was well-served. Accomplishments may not be that grand, but they are substantial, for we were able to put our efforts together to effect change and recalibrate our actions. And I am not giving way to any regret, for I took every opportunity to serve with dedication and genuine concern for everyone. Listening intently, even to what the faculty and students are not saying, has always been challenging.  And I was grateful for the goals accomplished, the learnings obtained, the genuine relationships built, and the people I have known better.   

          So, what is CAL’s status now?

CAL submitted its five undergraduate programs, namely BA Communication, AB in English Language, BA Performing Arts, BA Journalism, and BA Broadcasting, for Certificate of Compliance (COPC) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office V RQAT last July 27-28 and July 31, 2023. While AB Journalism was found to be Compliant with CHED’s policies, standards, and guidelines, the other four programs were non-compliant due to an administrative concern. The administrative concern raised by CHED is the academic qualification of the Dean, for I am a graduate of Doctor of Education major in Educational Management and Master of Education major in English, which do not align with CHED’s PSGs. In all instances, the welfare of the college cannot be subordinated to individual welfare, and I am one with the administration’s decision to comply with the recommendations of CHED to ensure that all the degree programs get a Certificate of Compliance with CHED’s policies, standards, and guidelines.

During the six months, CAL continued to pursue a series of accreditations, thereby assuring CAL programs of their good standing.  Bachelor of Arts in Communication is Level IV Re-accredited, Bachelor of Performing Arts is Level III Re-accredited, and upon presentation of a Certificate of Program Compliance by CHED, could be granted the Level IV accreditation by AACCUP;  Bachelor of Arts in Journalism was subjected to Level 3 Phase 1 Accreditation last August 21-25, 2023; Bachelor of Arts in English Language has successfully undergone Preliminary Visit last December 4-8, 2023 while the Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting has applied for the Level III Accreditation.

The College remains strong and vibrant with a strengthened research and extension status. Records as of December 2023 showed 13 completed research and eight ongoing research.  Upgrading the college facilities and equipment was attended to through the judicious purchase of needed technological hardware and software in coordination with ICTO and the University Procurement Office. Furthermore, faculty and student capability-building programs and activities were strongly supported.  

I have served the University in different capacities:

As Chair of the English Department of the then College of Arts and Letters (CAS) for two years, with Dr. Dolores Laguilles as my Dean;

        As Assistant to the President for Public Information for four years during the leadership of the 5th President – Dr. Emiliano E. Aberin;

          As Assistant Dean of CSSP for one year in service to the 6th President, Dr. Susana C. Cabredo, who implemented the Comprehensive Development Plan in 2006, which placed me at the College of Arts and Letters with Dr. Vega as Dean;  

          I was the Director of the BU Language Center for two years during the term of Dr. Cabredo, one year during Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya’s term, and three years during the term of Dr. Arnulfo M. Mascarinas.   

I have served with dedication and commitment in the past and will do it again and again with the same passion to serve Bicol University. In all the positions I served, I shall always speak of gratitude to God, to my designating officials, and to everyone I served.  

Today, as it will be written in the history of the college, I joyfully and proudly relinquish the deanship to a beloved and esteemed faculty member and department head, Dr. Adrian Aguilar.  An alloy of sadness and happiness dwells in me at this moment: sadness because, leadership-wise, I will be away from the College that has served as my home for several years, but more importantly, happiness because my leaving will mean the granting of the COPC for the college.  Thus, this leaving shall not be in vain.  I must then say, “Congratulations CAL!”

From here on, I assure the college of my full and sincere support in its future engagements toward greater heights. In my future undertakings, I will always ensure that this college will benefit, directly or indirectly, as a former full-time faculty and former dean will forever be connected to the college.

For the last time, this is Dr. Irene Moral, the 9th Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, now the former Dean, congratulating everyone for a new chapter for the college. All the best.

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