Bernardo M. Villegas
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Building the Institution of CRC-UA&P (Part 2)

            The professionals from the baby boomers are now being increasingly succeeded by a generation of younger economists and other professionals from the X generation (born between 1964 and 1982) who were the first to enroll in the CRC College of Arts and Sciences when it opened in 1989.  Already the X generation from UA&P has produced some well-known business personalities as David Leechiu, a leading real estate executive who has been responsible for attracting a large number of BPO enterprises to locate in the Philippines.  Then there is Eric Francia, the top strategic management adviser of the Ayala Corporation group of companies.  Other top personalities in the private business sector are Kevin Tan of the Megaworld group and Ferdinand Vincent Co of the Puregold conglomerate.  In the public sector, there is Jose Enrique Garcia, who as Mayor of Balanga, Bataan, received international awards for good governance.  Mr. Garcia is now a member of the House of Representatives.  Then there is David Suarez, currently in his third term as Governor of Quezon Province.  Also from this generation of UA&P alumni are Anthony Villarosa, former Mayor of Mamburao, Mindoro Occidental and Mr. Franz Joseph Alvarez, congressman from Palawan.  In the legal field, worth mentioning is Atty. Karen Jimeno who has figured in some celebrated cases.

         Those born between 1982 and 2000 (Generation Y or the Millennials) constituted the bulk of the enrollees in the years after 1995  when UA&P became formally constituted as a full-blown university under Philippine laws.  Dr. Jesus Estanislao, who had returned to the institution after his stint in the Philippine Government and in the Asian Development Bank, presided over the formal transition from CRC to UA&P.  He was succeeded as President by Dr. Mario Camacho whose many decades as CEO in a number of Philippine enterprises were an asset in the institutionalization of modern management practices in the organization of UA&P.  Dr. Camacho was succeeded as President of UA&P by Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, a philosopher and a mathematician, who spearheaded the expansion of the university to new academic fields by the establishment of the School of Integrated Marketing Communications, the School of Sciences and Engineering and the School of Law and Governance.  It was also under the leadership of Dr. Mariano that CRC was reconstituted as a multi-disciplinary think tank, going beyond the narrow field of economics.  Through several research endowments, CRC encouraged professors from the different schools of the university to team up in undertaking multidisciplinary research in such vital areas as sustainable development, poverty eradication, overseas Filipino workers, social entrepreneurship, and family welfare and development. 

         In June 2015, Dr. Winston Padojinog, one of the graduates of the programs of CRC-UA&P, was formally inaugurated as President of the University.  To my mind, this is a real test of institutionalization.  This was a culmination of a process that had already started early on when the Deans of the School of Economics and School of Management as well as the long-term Director of the Center for Food and Agribusiness, Dr. Rolando Dy,  were already alumni of CRC-UA&P.  Dr. Emil Antonio and Dr. Peter Lee U, holders of the M.S. in Industrial Economics of CRC, held the position of Dean of the School of Economics at one time or another.  Dr. Rene Gayo and Dr. Winston Padojinog, also graduates of the Industrial Economics Program (IEP), held the position of Dean of the School of Management.  Today, a good number of the managerial positions in the University are already held by alumni (ae) of UA&P.  They are  Mary Anjanette Decena, Director of Admissions; Carla Estanislao, Director of Alumni Affairs; Trinidad Calma Alcazaren, Director of Corporate Communications;  Dr. Francine Calero Cacho, Deputy Dean of the School of Integrated Marketing Communications; Dr. Luis Tongco Jr., Member of Operations Committee of the School of Integrated Marketing Communications; Ms. Jodie Ngo, Member of Operations Committee of the School of Management; Ms. Lexie Escacio, Member of Operations Committee of School of Education; and Ms. Kristine San Juan Nable, Member of Operations Committee of School of Management.  These products of the various programs of UA&P belonging to Generations X and Y will be the ones to lead the organization towards its goal of being a world-class university over the next twenty years.

         The third millennium ushered in the generation Z, all those born after 2000.  Already some of these teenagers, some of them already children of UA&P alumni and alumnae, have become stakeholders of UA&P when they enrolled in the School Year 2016 to 2017 in the pioneering batch of the junior college that is called the Six Year Program (6YP).  These are those who started Grade 11 under the K to 12 program of the Department of Education as students of the recently established junior college of UA&P.  The 6YP enables the students to earn masteral degrees in economics, management, integrated marketing communications, political economy and international relations, humanities, and education in six years.  This program recognizes the almost indispensable need for a master of science or arts as the minimum academic requirement for any professional during the next fifty  years when these Generation Z  people will be helping to build the Filipino nation in the various knowledge-intensive industries as the country attains First World status.   The 6YP has a strong liberal arts foundation complemented by a sufficient knowledge of digital technology, a combination that will give them a competitive advantage in the global economy.   Parents of Generation Z youth are well advised to consider the 6YP as a wise choice for their children.

         The relatively young management team headed by Dr. Padojinog have their work cut out for them.  As announced by Dr. Padojinog himself in several speeches he has recently delivered on the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration of CRC-UA&P, a major challenge is to build a new campus for UA&P somewhere in Batangas on a fifty-hectare property which will allow the enrolment to expand beyond its present limit of a little over 2,000, which is what can be accommodated in the present Ortigas campus. This present site can be transformed in the future to the downtown professional school for law, executive education programs and other continuing education courses for various professionals.  There will also be a need to find classroom facilities for these downtown programs either in Makati or Fort Bonifacio. The focus on executive education will eventually lead to the establishment of the Southeast Asian Business School which will specialize on executive education programs, following the example of its partner school in Spain, the IESE Business School—ranked by business publications like the Financial Times or the Economist as among the top ten business schools in the world, especially in executive education programs.

    A more immediate step is to offer a doctoral program in business economics, a field in  which CRC has very few peers in the Asian region.  There is also the medium-term plan to make UA&P more international in its student composition, catering to more undergraduate and graduate students from both Southeast and Northeast Asia as well as Europe, Africa, and Latin America.    I have all the confidence that the younger generations of X, Y and Z can do even a better job to offer quality education than those of us baby boomers have been able to do  over the last fifty years.  Institution building will continue, highly motivated by the desire of all the stakeholders of UA&P to serve both God and country through contributing to the integral human development of each Filipino and ASEAN citizen.  For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.