Ateneo Physics Department renewed its CHED Center of Excellence status for 2016-2018

ateneophysicsnews_ched-coe-cod_2016-2018

Table 1. The CHED COEs and CODs in Ateneo de Manila University by School and Discipline for 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018

by Quirino Sugon Jr

Last 23 December 2015, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released its Memorandum Order No. 38 Series of 2015 which lists the Centers of Excellence (COEs) and Centers of Developments (CODs) nationwide for the next three years, from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018. The Department of Physics of Ateneo de Manila University was included in the list of COEs together with four other schools: University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, De La Salle University, University of the Philippines-Diliman. Only one school was designated as Center for Development for Physics: University of Baguio. The Ateneo Physics Department has been a CHED COE for the past 17 years.

The selection of the COEs and CODs were based on the following set of criteria: Instructional Quality (45%), Research and Publication (30%), Extension and Linkages (20%), and Institutional Qualification (5%).

In Ateneo de Manila University, the CHED COEs are in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Literature (English), Philosophy, Information Technology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology; while the CODs are in Literature (Filipino), Environmental Science, Communication, History, and Political Science. Table 1 shows the classification of these different disciples by School: SOH (School of Humanities), SOSS (School of Social Sciences), SOSE (School of Science and Engineering), and JGSOM (John Gokongwei School of Management).

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to these departments for all their efforts and accomplishments over the years in order to attain their status with CHED,” said Dr. John Paul C. Vergara, Vice-President of the Loyola Schools of Ateneo de Manila University.

As written in the CHED MO No. 55 Series of 2006, the responsibilities and minimum expectations of a COE are as follows: (1) Act as role models/leaders in the local, regional and national community; (2) Sustain and enhance research capabilities and upgrade professional or research graduate programs in the discipline; (3) Provide assistance to agencies/institutions within its geographical area of coverage; and (4) Undertake other activities/projects necessary in developing quality education in the specific discipline. On the other hand, for the COD are the following: (1) Develop their instructional programs through faculty development activities and upgrading of facilities and library holdings; and (2) Establish linkages with COEs in the same discipline to further improve their capability to undertake research in the field.

In exchange, the benefits of being a COE or COD are funding assistance for Instruction, Research and Publication, and Extension and Linkages. For Instruction, the funds may be used for faculty development, upgrading of library and facilities, and development of programs and instructional materials. For Research and Publication, the funds may be used for research grants, publication fee awards, and innovation and commercialization of projects. And for Extension and Linkages, the funds may be used for academe-Industry projects, faculty development,  consortia agreements, and internationalization activities.

Dr. Evangeline Bautista, Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, first broke the news last 30 December 2015 on the results of the CHED evaluation in her Facebook profile: “Congratulations to Biology, Chemistry, DISCS, Mathematics and Physics for being designated as CHED Centers of Excellence and to Environmental Science for being a CHED Center of Development!”

“We are once again honored to be a CHED Center of Excellence for the next three years,” said Dr. James Bernard Simpas, Chair of the Department of Physics. “Many thanks to all, especially Anna (our secretary), for all the hard work that went into our application for this certification last year. This is indeed a good start for the New Year for our Department. May we always remember that this is a privilege (which comes with our responsibility to our students and to our University) and not an entitlement (which only leads to hubris).”

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About quirinosugonjr
Physics professor and corporate blogger

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