Incoming Silliman President Dr. McCann Speaks at Administrators Nat’l Summit
Incoming Silliman University President Dr. Betty Cernol-McCann was a plenary speaker at the 23rd national convention of the Philippine Association of Administrators of Student Affairs, Inc. (PAASA), held May 2 to 4 in Cebu City.
Silliman is among the active institutional members of PAASA. Dean of Students Dr. Edna Gladys T. Calingacion is a member of its board and concurrently the association’s auditor.
Dr. McCann spoke on “Philippine Higher Education: Directions and Horizons.” She discussed the interplay of factors and global trends that transform the landscape of higher education globally. She cited “internationalization” and “ASEAnization” as two realities that challenge higher education in the Philippines today.
The first woman to become President of Silliman, Dr. McCann noted that while there are factors that influence higher education, there is diverse educational development in the Asian region brought about by difference in resources, population and historical context. She stressed that there is no one model in the world for higher education, just as there is no one model in Asia and one for higher education in the Philippines.
For Dr. McCann, universities are either at the center or at the peripheral, depending on which reference one is using. She explained that globally, one institution may be at the periphery, but locally, the same may be at the center. Thus, the she encouraged higher education institutions to look deeper into how they can respond to the transforming landscape of higher education in their own environmental context and given their respective strengths and resources.
She presented three general ways to respond to the changes in the 21st century in terms of “3Ps” – programs, people and partners. These, she said, also constitute the horizon of student affairs: enhancing programs, retooling and developing the staff, and building partnerships and creating networks.
The two-day national convention focused on the “Empowered Student Affairs and Services Practitioners in an Evolving Landscape of Higher Education: New Directions, New Horizons” It brought in a total of 185 participants representing 96 institutions from around the country.
Together with Dr. Calingacion from Silliman in the convention were Guidance and Testing Division Head Dr. Jaruvic C. Rafols and Student Organizations and Activities Division Head Mr. Abe P. Cadeliña. (with notes from PAASA and Dr. EGT Calingacion)