MANILA - The chair of the Committee on Higher Education (CHED) on Tuesday dispelled allegations about irregularities in the selection process of deanship in the University of the Philippines.
"I urge all the education stakeholders in UP to know the process, to understand the law, and to respect it because if you don't believe in the process and you are not willing to respect the decisions of the board, then don't run for chancellor, don't run for dean," said CHED Chair Prospero De Vera on ANC's Headstart.
De Vera was reacting to the controversy surrounding the selection process of the next dean of the UP's Cesar A. Virata School of Business. The issue prompted UP Chancellor Mike Tan to issue a letter to express his concerns.
"When Mike Tan and university council start saying respect the search committee process, respect the choice of the search committee and the chancellor--what they're basically saying is substitute our choice to your choice," said De Vera.
He said it’s like turning the Board of Regents, which has the power to appoint university officials, into a rubber stamp.
"The role of the search committee is to look at the qualifications of the candidates, look at their vision for their college, conduct a public forum if necessary, put the good and the bad impressions on the candidate and submit it to the Board of Regents," he said.
De Vera said the search committee is not allowed to rank or rate candidates. He said interviewing candidates is being done in all state universities.
"Let me point it bluntly. Mike Tan accuses the Board of Regents of making political decisions and wants the Board of Regents to rely solely on the search committee report in making decisions,” he said.
De Vera said the rules do not require candidates for dean to be restricted solely to faculty members and they don't require a PhD.
"If the rules are not correct, it’s like insulting all the good deans, chancellors, UP presidents who were selected using the same rules," he said.
The UP Board of Regents has appointed Joel Tan Torres as the new dean of the Cesar Virata School of Business.
"Joel Tan Torres was the topnotcher in the CPA board exams. He served in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, served in the PRC, outstanding alumni. The college awarded him outstanding alumni. They think he's good enough to be outstanding alumni but not good enough to be their dean? That's hypocritical," De Vera said.
He said if there were serious reservations about the qualifications of candidates, they should have been raised when the search started.
"Why did you write the letter of complaint after he was already selected? And for those who lost, why did you sign that letter? Is that the process that they want?” he asked.
He believes that the issue will not affect the leadership of Torres as the new dean of the UP college of business.
"It should not. He is qualified. He was selected. He brings strength to his position as dean and that decision of the Board should be respected by everyone in the university," he said.