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On its 22nd anniversary, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) inaugurated its Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH), recognized its employees who have served for 5-20 years, and launched its Health and Wellness activities last 24 February 2017 in its headquarter in Los Baños, Laguna.

The MPH, located between Instruction Material and Development Printing Office (IMDPO) Building and the Centennial Center for Digital Learning (CCDL) Building, also served as the venue of the of the anniversary. The inauguration of the new infrastructure was followed by the presentation of the Service Awards to UPOU faculty and staff members.

Service Awards were given to those who have rendered 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service to the University. Awardees for 5 years of service were Jennifer Belen, Rubielita Gata, Roel Cantada, Rhodora Pamulaklakin, and Consuelo Habito. The awardees for 10 years of service were Ricardo Bagarinao, Isagani Bautista, and Raymond Lapis.

The 15 years of service awardees were Margaret Suarez, Primo Garcia, Jimmy Fermin, and Jennifer Pareja. Finally, the awardees of the 20-year service awards were Victoria Belegal, Percia Secreto, Victorio Maligalig, Rhona Marie Verena, Marie Estorel, Dominador Ramos, Elvira Lalap, Edelina Yap, Nida Pavia, Carlota Yoingco, Luisa Gelisan, and Alvie Simonette Alip. Chancellor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Melinda Lumanta and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Jean Saludadez handed out the plaque of service to the awardees.

The awarding was followed by the inaugural activities of the Health and Wellness Committee. Asst. Prof. Rita Ramos, chairperson of the committee, led the program promising well lined-up health and wellness activities every month. Right after, an intermission number was presented by V-force, a dance group composed of the committee members and some staff.

The dance number was followed by another round of dancing routine with the participation of the audience. Finally, the anniversary celebration was concluded by the singing performance of the Tempo Band.

All these initiatives were done as part of the Team Approach and Youthful Outlook for UPOU (TAYO) Flagship Program of UPOU. (Rica Mae Valencia)

In line with UP Open University's vision for “Pamantasang Bukas Para sa Magandang Bukas” and its mandate in RA 10650 (Open and Distance Learning Act) as the lead institution to promote best practices for open and distance learning in the country, the UPOU Multimedia Center has revised and updated its UPOUNetworks -- the university’s window to the world where communal interaction happens in real-time.

The UPOU Networks 3.0, the university's online hub of multimedia resources now has a new logo, new design, new layout, and more features. Users can access a plethora of knowledge in multimedia formats. It now features the following facilities:

UPOU Live, it features lectures, fora, research presentations, seminars, and other university events that are web-streamed on real time. It enables the university to communicate/reach out to it various publics scattered all over the world. Online viewers are also given the chance to interact with the presenters/speakers through an online chat.

UPOU Commons, a repository of the university-produced open educational resources (OER) that can be used and accessed by anyone for free.

UPOU Mix, contains learning materials on various topics and in various formats, i.e., video, podcasts, animation. Speakers/lecturers in these multimedia materials are known experts in their fields.

UPOU OnRecord is an internet radio and also a repository of podcasts produced by UPOU.

UPOU Featured Program showcases UPOU program offerings on a bi-weekly basis.

The UPOU Networks 3.0 was launched publicly during UPOU’s 22nd Anniversary Celebration last 24 February 2017 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna. The anniversary program became the first event livestreamed on the new site. In addition, a mobile app for UPOUNetworks 3.0 is being developed and will be available soon. The original UPOUNetworks was launched in 2010.

Faculty members of UP Open University (UPOU) presented papers during the Third Philippine/Japan Workshop on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems(GIAHS) Twinning for Human Capacity Building and Sustainable Development, Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) Forum, at the Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa, Japan on 2 February 2017. The forum was attended by representatives from the Philippines, specifically from UPOU, Ifugao State University (IFSU), Benguet State University (BSU) and Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC). From Japan, the representatives were from United Nations University Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa (UNU-IAS), Information Media Center, Kanazawa University (KU), Noto Satoyama Satoumi Meister Training Program, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hokuriku, Think Locally, Act Globally, and Fujitsu. Professor Koji Nakamura of Kanazawa University delivered the opening remarks afterwhich were the paper presentation of different speakers. From the Philippines, Prof. Napoleon Taguiling from IFSU presented the “Progress of the ISMTP from 2014-2016”; Prof. Romeo Gomez of MSU on “Challenges in Ecosystems in Benguet, Philippines”; Assoc. Prof. Melanie Subilla of MPSPC on “Challenges in Agriculture and Forestry in Mt Province, Philippines.” Three faculty members presented their papers at the workshop, namely, Assoc. Prof. Joane Serrano of UPOU on “Developing Multi-media materials towards Sustainability and Resilience: the UPOU Experience”; Prof. Consuelo dL. Habito on the “Cost of Creating Open Educational Resources (OER) for Philippine Biodiversity”; and Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste (UPOU) on “Students’ Experience in Conducting Biodiversity Studies in Selected Disturbed Areas and Critical Habitats in Laguna and Metro Manila, Philippines.” Speakers from Japan included Prof. Akiharu Morimoto of KU on “Recent Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure and Services in Kanazawa University”; Mr Michio Kojima of JICA Hokuriku on “JICA project update on ISMTP”, Mr. Koji Ito of KU on “Place-based training in Team Maruyama”, and lastly Miss Mikiko Nagai of UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa on “Satoyama initiatives in Ishikawa and Kanazawa.”

A doctoral student from Kanazawa University (KU), Japan presented partial results of her dissertation during the Research Forum organized by the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UP Open University (UPOU) on 28 February 2017 at the Audio-visual Room, UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna. The forum was also aired live at www.networks.upou.edu.ph.

Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Officer-in-Charge Dean of FMDS, opened the activity explaining that FMDS Research Forums are venues to share research initiatives in various areas.

Ms. Sakiko Kawabe, taking the Doctoral Degree in Cultural Resource Management in KU, presented her doctoral dissertation entitled “Investigation of the Change of Relationships Between Local Residents and their Traditional Farming Tools by Modernization in Ifugao Rice Terraces, The Philippines.”

She shared the results of her data collection in Japan which focused on “Mingu and the Collecting Movement after WWII in Japan.” Mingu, defined as “things that were created with technical means out of need in daily life” were donated in a number of museums in Japan when it went through the Rapid Economic Growth (1954-1973). Folklorists in Japan became aware of the loss of mingu and campaigned for their preservation. Her study involved determining how two museums in Japan was able to collect mingu, specifically traditional farming tools, the change of relationship between people and their tools, and what processes mingu goes through from being a tool in the daily life to being a museum collection.

She then explained how she proposes to conduct a similar study in the Ifugao Rice Terraces, where she aims to elucidate how people recognize things from their daily life as heritage or historical records in terms of two elements of modernization: agricultural development and heritage management. Her study aims to answer the questions “What causes the government and local residents to collect and preserve things from daily life in the context of modernization?” and “How do things from daily life change value into heritage or historical artifacts?” In particular, she wants to investigate the process and result of agricultural development and the change of lifestyle of local farmers; investigate the policies and projects to educate and encourage local residents to appreciate and protect their own culture; and investigate the history and current state of collections of farming tools and other folk artifacts of individual residents, communities, local museums, research institutions and the government.

With the forum being a venue to share research insights, members of the audience, such as Prof. Jean Saludadez, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Prof. Ana Quimbo, Faculty member of the UPLB College of Public Affairs; and Prof. Consuelo Habito, Program Chair for UPOU’s Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management program, commented and suggested several points to consider for dissertation proposal. It was suggested that she partner with a faculty or researcher in a local university to address the issues on plausibility given the language challenges since part of her study entails interviewees with the locals. Other suggestions were given like and exploring the blend of old and modern tools, and taking note of the physical structure of the Ifugao Rice Terraces which may not allow the use of some machinery.

Ms. Kawabe noted the suggestions well and were grateful for the contributions to her study. She was presented a certificate of appreciation for sharing her research. Ms. Jeniffer de Pasion-Guevarra was the forum’s emcee. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

A new building is set to rise on the UP Open University (UPOU) campus in Los Baños, Laguna – the UPOU Teaching and Learning Hub (TLH). In the advent of UPOU’s celebration of its 22nd Anniversary, a time capsule was buried and the first sod was turned leading to the construction of the TLH.

Dr. Melinda Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor, lead the groundbreaking. Accompanying her were Dr. Rhodora Azanza, Officer-in-Charge for the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Patricia Arinto, UP Faculty Regent; Mr. Alexis Mejia, UP Staff Regent; Dr. Melinda Lumanta, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Jean Saludadez, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Dr. Felix Librero, UP Professor Emeritus and Former UPOU Chancellor; Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Professor Emeritus and Former UPOU Chancellor; and Dr. J. Collins Yerbury, Dean Emeritus of the Simon Fraser University.

The four octagonal pods of the TLH will house the three Faculty offices of the university, intended to create more academic space for both UPOU faculty and students. Thirty faculty rooms and three Dean’s offices will comprise this hub, plus a 12-person meeting area. The TLH also features a loft on one side of the building that allows the flow fresh air, the entry of sunlight, and the view of the beautiful scenery of Mt. Makiling.

The TLH is designed with a provision for possible expansion. The most immediate of which is the UPOU Learning Commons, two more octagonal pods that are projected to be constructed within 2017. Other constructions ongoing within the UPOU headquarters in Los Baños are the UPOU International Convention Center, the UPOU Academic Residences, and the construction of the elevator shaft for the UPOU Main Building. The UPOU Multi-purpose Hall was also recently completed and its inauguration was also done as part of UPOU’s 22nd Anniversary Celebration. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) launched new programs and initiatives on its 22nd Anniversary to continue strengthening its leadership in Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) in the country and the region. With the theme “Leading in ODeL Within and Beyond,” UPOU’s day-long celebration was held on 24 February 2017 at the UPOU Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.

Recognizing that the strength of the university also comes from its relationship with other individuals and organizations, UPOU continues to forge linkages to fulfill its mission of democratizing access to quality higher education. New agreements and understandings were signed with Centro Escolar University, Department of Health, BDO Life and Vancouver Animation School for several academic and institutional cooperation in 2017.

With the intention of creating more academic space and to house the three Faculty offices of UPOU, the groundbreaking of the UPOU Teaching and Learning Hub was led by Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor. She was joined by Dr. Rhodora Azanza, Officer-in-Charge for the UP Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Patricia Arinto, UP Faculty Regent; Mr. Alexis Mejia, UP Staff Regent; Dr. Melinda Lumanta, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dr. Jean Saludadez, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Dr. Felix Librero, UP Professor Emeritus and Former UPOU Chancellor; Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Professor Emeritus and Former UPOU Chancellor; and Dr. J. Collins Yerbury, Dean Emeritus of the Simon Fraser University.

The 22nd Anniversary Program featured the anniversary message of Chancellor Bandalaria, which likened UPOU to a tree with 22 growth rings. “We are deeply-rooted, thus, making our framework strong and sturdy.” UPOU is now able to capacitate and help other organizations and institutions. She also made special mention of UPOU’s constituents and partners, especially staff members, whom she referred to as the shells that turned disruptions to gems so UPOU can continue being the leader in open and distance elearning in the country and in the Asian region. UP President Danilo L. Concepcion also relayed his anniversary message, delivered by Dr. Azanza. “Compassion is what drives UPOU to continuously adapt to the changing education environment, pushing for more innovative and accessible ways to teach and learn and interact. ” She mentioned that UPOU’s ability to keep pace with change makes it stand out in the UP System. “No other CU has shown this ability to adapt as well as UPOU has.” She also mentioned that at the young age of 22, UPOU’s accomplishments are definitely noteworthy.

Part of the program was also the launch of the different projects and initiatives under the Flagship Programs of UPOU or 2016-2019. It featured UPOU’s newest eBook series which includes three titles, namely, “Conversations on Openness: An Engagement in Discourse Capture” edited by Dr. Melinda Lumanta and Dr. Alexander Flor; “From Centers to Hubs: Reconceptualizing UPOU Learning Centers” edited by Dr. Melinda Lumanta and Dr. Joane Serrano; and “AGCOM-DEVCOM Crossover: A participant-Observer’s Journey” by Dr. Felix Librero.

Other initiatives launched were #OUPossibilities, Independent Learning Mode, MOOCs on ODeL Certification Programs, eService Management Program, Child Rights Protection and Promotion Certification Program and IT for Teaching and Learning Certification Program. The UPOU Networks 3.0 and the new AAOU Website were also launched along with the UPOU Exchange Fellowship Program and the UPOU Health and Wellness Program.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the university, the Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Faculty was given to Asst. Prof. Reinald Adrian Pugoy. Ms. Rhonna Marie Vereña was hailed the Gawad Chancellor Awardee for Outstanding REPS. The Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Administrative Personnel was given to Ms. Victoria Belegal (2nd Level) and Ms. Rose Aquino (1st Level).

The afternoon was kicked-off with the cutting of ribbon for the Painting and Sculpture Exhibition by the Banhay Kulay/Paete Artist Guild entitled “Lines, Curves and Strokes” at the Galeria Sinag of the UPOU Community Hub. And as a celebration of UPOU’s Family day, the UPOU Multi-purpose Hall was inaugurated along with the inaugural Activities of the Health and Wellness Program and the presentation of the Service Awards for employees who have rendered 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service.

With all the activities conducted and the programs officially launched, UPOU starts its 22nd year strong and able to continue leading the country and the region in open and distance elearning. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

Four UP Open University (UPOU) faculty members, headed by Chancellor Melinda Dela Peña Bandalaria, visited Kanazawa, Japan last 31 January to 3 February 2017, to take part in various research forums and courtesy visits in relation to the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP). Chancellor Bandalaria, together with three UPOU faculty and project members, Dr. Joane Serrano, Dr. Consuelo Habito and Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste, and four local project collaborators, Mr. Albert Pawingi of the Office of the Governor of Ifugao Province, Dr. Napoleon Taguiling of Ifugao State University (IFSU), Dr. Romeo Gomez of Benguet State University (BSU), and Assoc. Prof Melanie Subilla of Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), constituted the delegation from the Philippines. Dr. Koji Nakamura, Professor Emeritus at Kanazawa University and Project Leader of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Program, and Dr. Rizalina Edpalina, Organizer for the Ifugao Project, were the project collaborators from Japan.

The first courtesy visit was at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hokuriku Office in Kanazawa City. Chancellor Bandalaria talked about the shared vision of UPOU and its project partners in expanding the program for the sake of cultural preservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT). She also stressed the importance of modern technology in engaging and involving the youth sector to the project, and discussed UPOU’s plan in building up sustainability science as a program offering.

After the visit to JICA Office, the delegation participated in the Final Philippines-Japan Forum of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) in Noto. With the title "Human Resource Development Program for Sustainable Development of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)", the forum featured presentations from partners from both Japan and the Philippines. Dr. Napoleon Taguiling of IFSU reported the progress of ISMTP from 2014-2016. Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria presented about the potentiality of remote education for sustainable development of Ifugao. Mr. Tomoko Nitta, Director General of JICA Hokuriku, shared their office’s evaluation of ISMTP (JICA grassroots project). Mr. Masuhiro Izumiya, Mayor of Suzu City, gave a presentation titled “Ifugao from my Perspective”. Mr. Yoshinori Morooka, Professor Emeritus of Kochi University, talked about people and their support system for satoyama/satoumi in the Philippines and Miss Mikiko Nagai, Office Manager of the United Nations University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) gave a commentary.

More courtesy visits were done during the second day, including the visit to Kanazawa University (KU) President Koetsu Yamazaki, and KU Information Media Center Director, Akihara Morimoto. Dr. Yamazaki described the more than 200 collaborations of KU with other countries, including the Philippines. He expressed KU’s goal for partnership and exchanges with more Universities. Mr. Pawingi of the Ifugao Province noted how the common problems encountered in Noto and the Ifugao Rice Terraces call for working together and sharing of good practices between the said GIAHS sites. Chancellor Bandalaria said that while the Ifugao project looks like an ambitious undertaking, the collective efforts of the partners would lead to its realization. She also gave a commitment that UPOU will help fund the research component of the project and support wide dissemination and access to instruction and research on IRT. This will be made possible through research conference presentations, publications, and massive open online courses initiated by UPOU. Dr. Joane Serrano added that the partner institutions can share resources that can be used for the online courses. Dr. Fumio Uno, Professor at KU, said that they can help in developing materials with the use of information and communications technology (ICT). After the courtesy visit to the KU President, the group were taken on a tour to the Information Media Center of KU.

The second visit for the day was to the Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture Masanori Tanimoto. Governor Tanimoto praised the achievement of the ISMTP in Noto province, most notably in giving job opportunities for the Noto ISMTP trainees. He also mentioned that he met the ISMTP trainees from Ifugao. He said that the experience of the ISMTP trainees was good so he is hoping that the program will continue. He added that expertise from the academe is important but the involvement of the local government is also as important.

The last visit was to Ishikawa Prefectural University. The group was graciously welcomed by President Hidehiko Kumagai. With the help of two other professors from the university, President Kumagai introduced the university to the guests, describing how agriculture is its main thrust as an institution. After the introductions and some presentations, the group went to a campus tour and visited the laboratory where sake, the Japanese rice wine, was being brewed and tested for taste. The sake, as mentioned by the lab supervisor, is best produced during the winter season.

Faculty members of UP Open University (UPOU) presented papers during the Third Philippine/Japan Workshop on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems(GIAHS) Twinning for Human Capacity Building and Sustainable Development, Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) Forum, at the Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa, Japan on 2 February 2017.

The forum was attended by representatives from the Philippines, specifically from UPOU, Ifugao State University (IFSU), Benguet State University (BSU) and Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC). From Japan, the representatives were from United Nations University Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa (UNU-IAS), Information Media Center, Kanazawa University (KU), Noto Satoyama Satoumi Meister Training Program, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hokuriku, Think Locally, Act Globally, and Fujitsu.

Professor Koji Nakamura of Kanazawa University delivered the opening remarks afterwhich were the paper presentation of different speakers. From the Philippines, Prof. Napoleon Taguiling from IFSU presented the “Progress of the ISMTP from 2014-2016”; Prof. Romeo Gomez of MSU on “Challenges in Ecosystems in Benguet, Philippines”; Assoc. Prof. Melanie Subilla of MPSPC on “Challenges in Agriculture and Forestry in Mt Province, Philippines.” Three faculty members presented their papers at the workshop, namely, Assoc. Prof. Joane Serrano of UPOU on “Developing Multi-media materials towards Sustainability and Resilience: the UPOU Experience”; Prof. Consuelo dL. Habito on the “Cost of Creating Open Educational Resources (OER) for Philippine Biodiversity”; and Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste (UPOU) on “Students’ Experience in Conducting Biodiversity Studies in Selected Disturbed Areas and Critical Habitats in Laguna and Metro Manila, Philippines.”

Speakers from Japan included Prof. Akiharu Morimoto of KU on “Recent Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure and Services in Kanazawa University”; Mr Michio Kojima of JICA Hokuriku on “JICA project update on ISMTP”, Mr. Koji Ito of KU on “Place-based training in Team Maruyama”, and lastly Miss Mikiko Nagai of UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa on “Satoyama initiatives in Ishikawa and Kanazawa.”

The UP Open University (UPOU) once again showcases the work of the Banhay Kulay/ Paete Artist Guild in the Sculpture and Painting Exhibition: Lines, Curves and Strokes at the Galeria Sinag, UP Open University Community Hub, Los Baños, Laguna from 25 February to 24 March 2017.

Organized by the UPOU Cultural Committee headed by Dr. Primo Garcia and the UPOU Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the Banhay Kulay/ Paete Artist Guild, the event highlights the artistic abilities of the Paete Artists using different forms of art. The university’s collaboration with the said art group was initiated by Dr. Consuelo Habito.

The exhibit depicts classical and modern strokes of the brushes aside from the wood carvings which Paete, Laguna is known for. It also showcases the featured artists’ interesting mix of subjects and art expressions ranging from the humorous to spiritual. It is a reflection of the heart and soul of the artist as an individual and as a group.

For Dr. Garcia, the exhibit is seen by the university as an opportunity to showcase local talents, support local arts and crafts, and contribute to the growth of creative communities in the region. He also noted that UPOU sees this as a way to promote Filipino culture and facilitate linkage with the local community.

To visit the exhibit, drop by the UPOU Community Hub from Mondays to Saturday, 9am to 6pm, or call (049) 536-6001 to 06 local 351 for appointments. (ESPM/LRM)

On its 22nd year, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) will be celebrating its anniversary with the theme “UPOU@22: Leading in ODeL Within and Beyond.” This will be held on 24 February 2017 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.

After critical reflection on its 21st year, UPOU upholds its position as the pioneer and leading institution in Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) on its 22nd year. In the Philippines, the Open and Distance Learning Law (RA 10650) mandates UPOU to lead in assisting relevant agencies and institutions in developing distance education (DE) programs through capacity building programs and other initiatives. In the region, UPOU has extended its wingspan as President of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) from 2017-2019. These positions provide UPOU more reasons to carry on with its mission of widening access to quality higher education.

Several activities are lined up for the one-day event. Morning activities will include the signing of memoranda with partners for 2017, the groundbreaking of the UPOU Teaching and Learning Hub (UPOU TLH), and the 22nd Anniversary Program.

The Anniversary program will feature the first message of the new UP President, Hon. Danilo L. Concepcion, for UPOU. The program will also be the venue to launch the different Flagship Programs of the university including three publications. The program also includes the opportunity to recognize the partners and the agreements forged in the previous year, and the awarding of outstanding members of various UPOU sectors with the Gawad Chancellor.

The afternoon will commence with the opening of the Wood Carving Exhibit: Lines, Curves and Strokes at Galeria Sinag at the UPOU Community Hub. Following the completion of its latest infrastructure, the UPOU Multipurpose Hall will be inaugurated in tandem with the inaugural activities of the UPOU Health and Wellness Committee. As customarily done, special recognition will be given to the members of the UPOU workforce who have rendered loyal service to the university. But recognition is not only because of traditions but primarily as appreciation and gratitude to the people whose contribution far outnumber the hours of service.

As a take-off on its 22nd year, UPOU’s chapter opens to soar high and claim its leadership in ODeL within the country and beyond. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

At the 1324th UP Board of Regents’ Meeting on 26 January 2017, Prof. Ricardo T. Bagarinao was appointed as the new Dean of the UP Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Education (FEd) effective 01 February 2017. His term will run until 31 January 2020.

As Dean of FEd, Prof. Bagarinao has set nine goals in his vision statement for the Faculty of Education to contribute to addressing the government’s need for sustainable education and the propagation of open and distance learning in higher education, in congruence with UPOU’s Strategic Plans. Under Instruction, his aim is to lead in the (1) enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning experience of faculties-in-charge and the students; (2) widen the access to FEd education; and (3) increase student enrollment and completion. Under Scholarship, he envisions to (4) enhance faculty research and/or creative work engagements; (5) increase the number of publications and paper presentations in conferences. Under Administration and Governance, the goals include (6) the enhancement of administrative efficiency to support academic excellence; (7) enhancement of faculty staff and student welfare; and (8) promotion of sustainable governance. Lastly, he aims for the (9) enhancement of public service. He was able to discuss the strategies for each goal during the search and consultation forum on 11 January 2017.

Prof. Bagarinao holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management. He is an educator and a public servant at heart, serving as a faculty member of the country’s national university right after he graduated with a degree in BS Biology from UP Cebu College. He served as trainer, facilitator, resource person, consultant, tutor, and mentor in different academic settings in recognition of his expertise in environmental science, sustainable development, natural resources management and disaster preparedness. As educator, he was awarded the UPOU Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding Faculty in 2015. As public servant, different sectors of the society have benefited in the many research projects he has led.

Known as the research guru of UP Open University, Prof. Bagarinao has led numerous projects leading to his recognition as the Outstanding Filipino Research Leader in 2012 at the World Research Festival. His wisdom transcends to his authorship of various publications in his field. He has always been the recipient of the UP International Publications Award every year since 2010, and was twice awarded the UP Scientist I title, first effective 2013-2015, and second, effective 2015-2017.

He has also held various administrative positions prior to his appointment as Dean. In UP Cebu, he served as Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Environmental Studies program. When he transferred to UPOU, he was appointed Program Chair of PhD in Education program for 3 years before he served UPOU as the University Registrar for six years. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)