UP Diliman profs, instructors vote to move start of school year to August
MANILA, Philippines — A faculty body at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Monday approved a plan to shift the academic calendar, with the opening of classes now in August 2014.
The Diliman University Council voted for the proposed shift, with 284 for the shift and 164 against it. Eight abstained from the voting.
The council, composed of all assistant professors and full professors, held a special meeting to decide on the controversial change in the academic calendar, which has already been adopted by U.P.’s seven other constituent universities.
The Diliman chancellor, Dr. Michael Tan presided the meeting on Monday morning, said U.P. vice president for public affairs Dr. Prospero de Vera.
De Vera was one of those who attended the special session, which lasted three hours at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center.
“It was a lengthy discussion. The voting was specific, whether to approve the shift of opening of classes to August 2014,” he said in an interview.
A recent faculty referendum showed that 647 of the 954 regular faculty members are in favor of the shift, 499 of which want the implementation this year.
Meanwhile, 281 out of 293 instructors voted for the proposed calendar, and 86 voted for the current calendar. Of the 281 instructors, 215 voted for the shift to be implemented this year, while 67 voted for it to be implemented next year.
De Vera said the referendum was treated as an “opinion poll,” after which the voting proceeded.
The University Student Council, a student government in U.P. Diliman, also held a campus-wide consultation, which showed that 1,834 out of 2,728 students approving of the shift.
Tan is poised to write the Board of Regents, the highest decision-making body in the university, to seek approval and authority to shift the calendar.
The BOR is expected to take up the matter in a meeting on March 27.
De Vera said this process was also observed by the chancellors of seven other constituent universities who had approved the shift – U.P. Manila, U.P. Los Banos, U.P. Baguio, U.P. Visayas, U.P. Mindanao, U.P. Open University and the U.P. College in Cebu.
“The BOR approved the shift in those constituent universities on a pilot basis, meaning, all possible problems with the schedule in each constituent university must be threshed out by the next school year in 2015,” the official explained.
This means that all U.P. academic units, save for its secondary education programs, will open its classes in August this year.
Under the new scheme, classes in U.P. campuses will open in August, with the first semester ending in December. Classes for the second semester will resume in January and end in May, while the “summer term” will be from June to July.
Once the BOR officially approves U.P. Diliman’s shift to the August-May schedule, it will be up to Tan and the executive council, which is composed of college deans, to formulate the new schedule.
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