NOTE: “Leadership Reflections” shares views of the different members of the University Leadership Council on matters related to campus life and the operations of the University. As well, it features opinions on issues of national and/or international relevance.
Prof. Cleonico Y. Fontelo
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Critical to setting the strategic thrust of any institution is a strong sense of accountability and transparency that cascades from top to bottom. Managing institutions requires a great deal of responsibility and a conscience that draws the thin line between 'doing what is right' and 'doing the right thing.'
The operations of Silliman University rest on its human resources. How the University moves ahead takes into consideration how it is able to develop the competencies of its personnel, both faculty and staff, and motivate them towards achieving common goals. In the process, an institution reflects on its ability to create an atmosphere that is conducive to work, and one that allows our faculty and staff to position their tenure in the University vis-à-vis their role in their respective families and in the community.
Conscious of this, the concept of 'treasury' in the University transcends financial management.
Ultimately treasury in Silliman aims for sound asset management which puts premium on the University's capacity to carry out its custodial responsibility over its human resources. While the operations of the treasury unit of the Finance Division of the University ensures sound utilization of financial instruments, which includes ensuring maximum returns on investments, it primarily functions to cater to what the University stands on, by and for: people ? its faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.
That is why it goes without saying that the function of treasury in Silliman is consistently guided by the cardinal rule of putting the University's interest above personal interest. In fact, personal interest ideally only comes in viewing resource management as facilitative of personal and professional development.
Treasury requires faithful stewardship of the financial, human and other resources of the University. Thus, institutional policies and related governmental regulations are implemented across all sectors in the University and applied to all. This also assumes the Christian ministry of the University which for over a century continues to be blessed with the generosity of its alumni and friends through scholarships, support for infrastructure and personnel development, and other acts of philanthropy that further enhance the University's relevance and reach.
Over the years, Silliman has been able to put in place stringent cost control measures, on top of a 'zero base' budgeting approach. This streamlined the management of expenses of the different units in the University, and made more effective our in-house monitoring system.
To us in Silliman, effective management of our resources manifests our accountability to God. Our alumni, donors and friends – those who continue to believe in the ministry of Christian education of Silliman – are God's instruments. It is incumbent upon us to reflect in our processes, in how we run the operations of the University a Christian perspective that deems the function of treasury as primordial in ensuring that what Silliman is able to provide for over a century now, it is able to do the same tomorrow and in the hundred more years to come.