Bernardo M. Villegas
Recent Articles



Rebalancing Strategy
published: Mar 31, 2017



Articles  >> more topics
The Adventure of Institution Building (Part V)

          After forty years of teaching, research and consultancy work at CRC-UA&P, I took a two-year sabbatical leave and went to the IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.  IESE in 2007, the year I taught as a Visiting Professor there, was ranked Number One among all the business schools in the world offering an MBA program by The Economist.  It retained that position for three consecutive years and continued to be among the top ten business schools (together with Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, INSEAD and Instituto de Empresa) in subsequent years.  This two-year stint at IESE (where I had previously worked in 1963 to 1964 as a research assistant after obtaining my Ph.D. from Harvard University) opened my eyes to the urgent need to establish a high-level business school in the Southeast Asian region that will focus on executive education to develop the necessary top management personnel for the impending ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which reached an important milestone in 2015.  Like the AEC itself, the Southeast Asian Business School is a work in process by which top professors from the IESE Business School have been helping the faculty of the School of Management of UA&P to deliver an Advanced Management Program aimed at owners of business, CEOs and other top executives of enterprises, both large and medium-scale, coming from Southeast Asian countries or from other parts of the world in which there are investors who want to benefit from the business opportunities offered by the 650 million consumers of the ten member countries of the ASEAN.  Up to the time of this writing in 2015, the AMP has had three offerings in which close to 50 entrepreneurs and senior executives from Southeast Asia, the United States, and Europe have participated.

           The Dean of the School of Management, Dr. Winston Padojinog, is leading the efforts to develop this business school.  As a clear evidence of the institution building efforts over the last two generations, Dr Padojinog was a product of the Industrial Economics Program during the 1990s.  At the time of this writing, he is poised to take over as the new President of  UA&P, vice Dr. Jose Maria Mariano.  The sustainability of every institution is only as good as the management succession planning that every generation of leaders is able to implement.

          Institution building at UA&P is a never ending process.  Although I am not personally involved in the new programs being introduced step by step, I watch very closely the other schools that have been added to the original School of Economics and the College of Arts and Sciences.  I am elated to see the School of Integrated Marketing Communications attain the prestige of producing highly qualified practitioners of integrated marketing communications who are literally gobbled up by top marketing and advertising enterprises even before they graduate from our University. Under the leadership of Dr. Jerome Kliatchko, the IMC School has given birth to the only Asian marketing award that rewards both sales effectiveness coupled with values formation of advertising or marketing campaigns within the region.  The Tambuli award at its start was limited only to the Philippines but now has attracted entries from all over Asia Pacific.   I am also impressed by the educators we produce for the expanding basic education industry.  UA&P has become well known for its quality programs in child education in addition to its reputation for values education.  Replicating the famous Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) program of Cambridge and Oxford in the U.K., our Institute of Political Economy has turned out professionals for the diplomatic corps as well as international agencies.  In the past, a good number of its graduates pursued law studies in the leading law schools of the country and made us proud by landing among the bar topnotchers.  This convinced our management three years ago to start our own School of Law and Governance which absorbed the Institute of Political Economy.  Also in the process of gestation is our School of Sciences and Engineering with initial specializations in Information Technology (almost as old as our College of Arts and Sciences) and Industrial Engineering.  Because of inputs from the research of our industrial economists about the sunrise industries of the future, there is long-term plan of the SSE to offer additional programs in biotechnology and material sciences in the future.

          This account of the institution building efforts of the men and women of UA&P is far from being complete and exhaustive.  It is merely a sketch of the last forty eight years of the history of CRC-UA&P.  In fact, I intentionally excluded a reference to my ongoing effort, with a small team of social scientists, to develop the original CRC into more than an economics think tank and create around it a team of professors and researchers from all the existing schools of UA&P who will undertake multidisciplinary research on topics of greatest relevance to the social problems of the Philippines today, e.g.  poverty eradication,  Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs);  Philippine demographics; rural and countryside development;  the integral human development of workers in the different economic sectors, especially the Information Technology-Business Process Management;  the Filipino Family etc.  This would require another account of the research history of our institution.  There is only one last point I would like to stress.  Common to all our research, communication and teaching efforts is the overriding desire to contribute to the common good of Philippine society.  For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.