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									 Benefits and Challenges of University
              Autonomy:
    The Centro Escolar University
              Experience



                  Maria Flordeliza L. Anastacio, Ph.D.
                 Dean, School of Accountancy and Management
 National President, Philippine Society for Educational Research and Evaluation
Immediate Past President, Philippine Council of Deans and Educators in Business
              Introduction

“The  contemporary university, like the
 communities in which it is embedded,
 is in the midst of massive change. Such
 change is propelled forward by two
 central trends.        These are the
 acceleration in the pace of change itself,
 and the globalization of the economy
 and of technology.”
        -UNESCO World Conference 1998
The UNESCO conference
emphasized that:


•Academic freedom and University
Autonomy are not privileges
•University Autonomy and Academic
Freedom are basic and inalienable
conditions.
•Autonomy affirms the university
as an institution of scholarship
and learning


•Autonomy enables the university
to freely assume and optimally
fulfill its responsibilities to
society.
How does one define Autonomy?
•Freedom and authority in academic matters.
• The right to decide what to teach, how to
teach, and whom to teach.
•The privilege to enjoy framing its courses of
studies, designing its assessment methods
and its principles and policies of admission.
•A basic feature of higher education.
Response of HEIs in the Philippines
1. The Commission on Higher Education issued CHED
   Memorandum Order No. 32 in 2001 promulgating the
   guidelines to implement the grant of autonomy and
   deregulated status to selected private higher education
   institutions (PHEIs) in the Philippines.
2. CHED recognized the enormous contribution of PHEIs
   in the growth and prominence of tertiary education in
   the country and in the Asia-Pacific through the HEI’s
   commitment to promote quality education, research
   and extension work.
3. CHED issued the general criteria for selection and
   identification of PHEIs to be granted autonomy:


      • Established as Centers of Excellence or Centers
        of Development.
      • Level III Accreditation
      • Outstanding overall performance of graduates
        in the licensure examination, and
      • Long tradition of integrity and untarnished
        reputation.
             Rationale of the Study


The Centro Escolar University is one of the first
Universities in the Philippines to be included in the
roster of Philippine Universities given
Autonomous Status by the Commission in Higher
Education in 2001.
After eight (8) years from the time the University
Autonomous status was granted, the researcher
deem it timely to assess how the members of the
management council, faculty and staff perceive the
changes made in the University.
            Significance of the Study

1. Findings will be beneficial to management
   and the academic community to be able to:
    •   Review the extent of realization of benefits granted
        by the CHED,
    •   Maximize the benefits if these were not realized or
        implemented,
    •   Serve as an eye opener to those who are not keenly
        aware of the benefits of autonomous status,
    •   Serve as input for university planning and
        research.
2. The researcher-made instrument
   will serve as basis for the
   evaluation of the degree of
   realization of the benefits of
   autonomous status of other
   universities and colleges.
3. Promote        the      researcher’s
   professional    growth     as    an
   educational leader in her University
   and in her leadership capacity as
   prime mover of quality education in
   several professional organizations
   like PSERE and PCDEB
      Methods and Procedures
•The descriptive method was used.

•A researcher-made questionnaire was
the major data gathering instrument.

•Documentary analysis was used to
synthesize and summarize the salient
points.
•There were 100 questionnaires
distributed, however,
  only 95 were retrieved.

•The respondents were composed of
vice presidents, deans, assistant deans,
department heads, program heads,
division heads, assistants to the dean,
faculty members, and non-teaching
personnel of the University.
•The data gathered were statistically
treated by the Evaluation and Data
Processing Department of Centro
Escolar      University using    the
frequency, percentage, mean and
standard deviation as primary
statistical tools.
      Findings,
     Conclusions
and Recommendations
                                Table 1
      Profile of the Respondents as to Positions Held

               Positions Held              f              %
Assistant Vice President                   3             3.2
Dean                                       7             7.4
Assistant Dean/Associate Dean              4             4.2
Department Head                           18            18.9
Program Head                               2             2.1
Division Head                              4             4.2
Assistant to the Dean                      4             4.2
Faculty                                   24            25.3
Non-teaching Staff                        29            30.5
Total                                     95            100
                                 Table 2
   Profile of the Respondents as to Years of Service to the
                         University

              Years of Service              f          %
10 years and below                         8          8.4
11-15 years                                24         25.3
16-20 years                                29         30.5
21-25 years                                9           9.5
26-30 years                                8          8.4
31-35 years                                12         12.6
36-40 years                                 4          4.2
41 years and above                          1          1.1
Total                                      95         100
                                  Table 3
Profile of the Respondents as to Highest Educational Attainment

           Highest Educational Attainment    f          %


   Doctoral Degree                          34        35.79


   Master’s Degree                          38         40


   Bachelor’s Degree                        23        24.21


   Total                                    95         100
                             Table 4
               Profile of the Respondents as to Age

                   Age                        f        %
30 years old and below                        1       1.1
31-40                                        31       32.7
41-45                                        22       23.2
46-50                                        10       10.5
51-55                                        13       13.7
56-60                                        14       14.7
61 and above                                  4       4.2
Total                                        95       100
                                Table 5
 Degree of Realization of Benefits Granted by CHED as
            Perceived by the Respondents
  Benefits granted by CHED to University                          Verbal
                                                        sd    Interpretation
        enjoying autonomous status                X


                                                 2.82   .41
1. Exemption from the issuance of special                     To a High
order                                                          Extent

                                                 2.65   .50
2. Free from monitoring and evaluation                        To a High
activities of the CHED                                         Extent

                                                 2.42   .65
3. Entitlement of grant of subsidies and other                Moderate
financial incentives/assistance from the                       Extent
CHED, whenever funds are available.
4. Privilege to determine and         2.83    .39   To a High Extent
prescribe curricular programs to
achieve global competence.
5. Privilege to offer new             2.90    .29   To a High extent
courses/programs in the
undergraduate/graduate level
without securing permit/authority
from the CHED



6. Privilege to establish branch/es or 2.82   .40   To a High Extent
satellite campuses without the prior
approval of the CHED
7.Privilege to offer extension       2.72   .47   To a High Extent
classes and distance education
courses/programs to expand access
to higher education and to
establish affiliation with
recognized foreign higher
education institutions in pursuit of
international standards of
education.
8. Authority to grant honoris causa 2.57    .62   To a High extent
to deserving individuals
Overall                             2.72    .30   To a High Extent
                          Table 6
  The degree of realization of other benefits of university
  autonomy as to Philosophy and Objectives as perceived
                    by the respondents


As to Philosophy and Objectives, University                  Verbal
Autonomy:                                           sd    Interpretati
                                                               on


                                              2.89   .31
1. Resulted to clarity of vision of the                    To a High
University                                                  Extent
                                                 2.77   .44
2. Developed and sustained a long-term view                   To a High
on Social development and social                               Extent
responsibility
                                                 2.91   .28
3. Helped in the realization of the objectives                To a High
of the University and Schools/Colleges                         Extent


                                                 2.78   .44
4. Accelerated the pace of change in the                      To a High
University                                                     Extent


                                                 2.77   .46
5. Proved to be an education concept that                     To a High
brought about modernity and relevance                          Extent
without compromising values and traditions
                                                     2.75   .45
6. Led the university to achieve a corporate image                To a High
that is emulated by universities in the country                    Extent

                                                     2.72   .47
7. Advanced the quality of teaching and research                  To a High
in the university                                                  extent

                                                     2.77
8. Autonomy placed a considerable emphasis on               .46   To a High
the role of the university to anticipate change                    Extent

                                                     2.81   .41
9. Autonomy has given greater academic freedom                    To a High
to the CEU community                                               Extent

                                                     2.77   .46
10. Autonomy made the university spiritually                      To a High
strong enough to be a key agent of change in the                   Extent
Philippine educational system
                                                     2.80   .30
Overall                                                           To a High
                                                                   Extent
                                   Table 7
    Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as to
        Curriculum and Instruction as Perceived by the Respondents

   As to Curriculum and Instruction, University                     Verbal
                   Autonomy:                             sd    Interpretation

                                                   2.82   .40
1. Led CEU to the promotion and development                      To a High
of an intellectual climate conducive to the                       Extent
pursuit of excellence
                                                   2.72   .44
2. Brought CEU to the forefront of its potential                 To a High
to experiment and introduce innovations in the                    Extent
educational system
                                                   2.82   .40
3. Provided a conducive environment in                           To a High
promoting and nurturing academic growth                           Extent

                                                   2.78   .50
4. Enabled the administration to evolve student-                 To a High
oriented teaching methodologies and strategies                    Extent
vis-à-vis    the    requirements      of     the
program/courses
                                                  2.67   .55
5. Provided the motivation to the faculty to be                To a High
more creative in curriculum and instructional                   Extent
design


                                                  2.74   .52
6. Resulted to more professional courses being                 To a High
offered in the university, both on the                          Extent
undergraduate and graduate levels


                                                  2.71   .50
7. Improved the performance of graduates in the                To a High
licensure examinations                                          Extent


                                                  2.71   .52
8. Increased the number of topnotchers     and                 To a High
placers in the licensure examinations                           Extent
                                                  2.69   .57
9. Improved the academic performance of                        To a High
students                                                        Extent

                                                  2.66   .54
10. Increased the employability of graduates                   To a High
                                                                Extent

                                                  2.66   .50
11. Gave recognition to the teaching of ethics,                To a High
corporate citizenship and social responsibility                 Extent

                                                  2.78
12. Provided a wider scope to update the                 .46   To a High
curriculum to be responsive to industry and                     Extent
societal needs

                                                  2.80
Overall                                                  .30   To a High
                                                                Extent
                                        Table 8

    Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy
       as to Faculty and Staff as Perceived by the Respondents

    As to Faculty and Staff, University Autonomy:                            Verbal
                                                                  sd    Interpretation

                                                            2.69
1. Made and faculty and staff more responsive and                  .50    To a High
committed to the needs of the School/College                               Extent

                                                            2.70   .52
2. Resulted to an increase participation of faculty/staff                 To a High
in seminars and workshops                                                  Extent

                                                            2.82
3. Led to the improvement of faculty/staff                         .54    To a High
qualification                                                              Extent

                                                            2.42   .61
4. Provided more opportunities for the faculty to                            To a
interact with their counterparts abroad                                    Moderate
                                                                            Extent
                                                  2.56   .56
5. Brought greater professional satisfaction                   To a High
among the faculty and staff                                     Extent

                                                  2.60   .53
6. Improved the self-confidence of the faculty                 To a High
and staff                                                       Extent

                                                  2.72   .47
7. Created /Brought pride to the faculty and                   To a High
staff                                                           Extent

                                                  2.56   .48
8. Resulted to active participation in academic                To a High
decision making                                                 Extent

                                                  2.63   .40
Overall                                                        To a High
                                                                Extent
                                     Table 9
      Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University
         Autonomy as to Research as Perceived by the
                          Respondents
     As to Research, University Autonomy:                            Verbal
                                                          sd    Interpretation

                                                    2.41
1. Increased the number of faculty doing research          .59      To a
                                                                  Moderate
                                                                   Extent
                                                    2.43   .60
2. Increased the research output of faculty                         To a
                                                                  Moderate
                                                                   Extent
                                                    2.51   .58
3. Improved the standard of research in the                       To a High
university                                                         Extent
                                                    2.46   .62
4. Resulted to more faculty research paper                          To a
presentations on a national level                                 Moderate
                                                                   Extent
5. Resulted to more faculty research paper          2.36   .64     To a
presentation on an international level                           Moderate
                                                                  Extent
                                                    2.28   .58
6. Increased the number of research grants                         To a
                                                                 Moderate
                                                                  Extent
                                                    2.33   .58
7. Resulted to higher research utilization in the                  To a
university                                                       Moderate
                                                                  Extent
                                                    2.44   .61
8. Brought the university nearer to its vision to                  To a
be a research university                                         Moderate
                                                                  Extent
                                                    2.40   .50
Overall                                                            To a
                                                                 Moderate
                                                                  Extent
                                   Table 10
       Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University
       Autonomy as to Organization and Administration as
                  Perceived by the Respondents
As to Organization and Administration, University                      Verbal
Autonomy:                                                    sd    Interpretatio
                                                                          n
1. Provided an environment for transformation of the   2.65   .52    To a High
administration                                                        Extent

2. Made the top administrators more responsive and     2.64   .54    To a High
committed to the needs of the schools and colleges                    Extent

3. Made the deans and department heads more            2.76   .49    To a High
responsive and committed to the needs of the                          Extent
Schools/Colleges
                                                      2.69   .54   To a High Extent
4. Resulted to the responsiveness of administrative
structures to the views of the faculty, staff and
deans
                                                      2.78   .48   To a High Extent
5. Created self confidence and pride among the
administrators, deans and department heads

                                                      2.14   .59    To a Moderate
6. Resulted to increased student enrollment                             Extent




                                                      2.77   .47   To a High Extent
7. Autonomy brought greater academic and
administrative responsibility

                                                      2.63   .42   To a High Extent
Overall
                                                                Table 11
              Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University
           Autonomy as to Student Services and Student Development
                       as Perceived by the Respondents
As to Student Services and Student Development, University Autonomy:                          Verbal Interpretation
                                                                                       sd
1. Enabled the University to promote more responsive service and more relevant   2.67   .53    To a High Extent
and healthy co-curricular and extra- curricular activities in campus

2. Brought greater satisfaction to students in the scheduling of activities      2.41   .61      To a Moderate
                                                                                                     Extent

3. Created more student leaders who are responsive to academic, social and       2.56   .58    To a High Extent
economic realities

4. Increased self-confidence of students                                         2.53   .58    To a High Extent

5. Increased loyalty and pride among the students                                2.57   .56    To a High Extent

6. Increased in academic health and academic freedom                             2.46   .63      To a Moderate
                                                                                                     Extent

7.Resulted to participation in academic related decision making                  2.50   .60    To a High Extent
processes/activities
8. Increased freedom of mobility for students                                    2.41   .63      To a Moderate
                                                                                                     Extent

Overall                                                                          2.51   .49    To a High Extent
                             Table 12
 Summary of Overall Ratings on the Benefits of University Autonomy


                                                                                          Verbal
                                                                              sd     Interpretation


Degree of Realization of Benefits Granted by CHED                      2.72   .30    To a High Extent



Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as to   2.80    .30   To a High Extent
Philosophy and Objectives



Degree of Realization of Other benefits of University Autonomy as to   2.80    .30   To a High Extent
Curriculum and Instruction
                                                                    2.63    .40   To a High Extent
Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as
to Faculty and Staff



                                                                    2.40    .50    To a Moderate
Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as                      Extent
to Research



                                                                    2.63   .42    To a High Extent
Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as
to Organization and Administration




                                                                    2.51    .49   To a High Extent
Degree of Realization of Other Benefits of University Autonomy as
to Student Services and Student Development




Overall                                                             2.64          To a High Extent
                                                         Table 13

Frequency of Occurrence of Challenges and Difficulties of University
                            Autonomy
   Challenges/Difficulties of University Autonomy                                                   Verbal
                                                                                         sd    Interpretation

 1. University officials are always tapped in national assemblies and activities   1.95   .62    Sometimes
 which interfere with their duties and responsibilities in the universities


 2. Absence of administrative autonomy on the part of the School/College           1.71   .56    Sometimes
 Dean

 3. Lack of coordination between the University and the School and College         1.48   .56      Never


 4. Lack of coordination between Schools/Colleges and the Departments              1.57   .58    Sometimes


 5. Several offices created abnormal delay in approval of requests                 1.74   .50    Sometimes


 6. Several offices create abnormal delay in release of budgets                    1.81   .53    Sometimes


 7.Mobility of students is hindered                                                1.64   .56    Sometimes
8. Mobility of faculty and staff is hindered                                          1.62   .55   Sometimes


9. Mobility of the department head/dean is hindered                                   1.60   .55   Sometimes


10. Lack of physical space to hold the numerous activities of the School/College      1.76   .56   Sometimes


11. Schools/Colleges are not permitted to hold activities on their convenient time.   1.80   .60   Sometimes


12. Academic activities are sacrificed for participation in sports and extra-         1.74   .63   Sometimes
curricular activities

13. Lack of well-trained personnel to implement programs.                             1.68   .57   Sometimes


14.Faculty-student ratio does not promote satisfactory interaction between faculty    1.82   .55   Sometimes
and students

15. Great deal of clerical work for the deans and heads                               2.01   .57   Sometimes


16. Too much work for top and middle administrators                                   2.02   .59   Sometimes


17. Too much expectations from the deans/department heads                             2.11   .57   Sometimes


18. Too many schools benchmarking with the University result to fear of               1.97   .58   Sometimes
intellectual property being put at stake

Overall                                                                               1.78   .38   Sometimes
   Conclusions

        Based on the findings, the following conclusions
are drawn:

1.       Benefits granted to autonomous universities by the
Commission on Higher Education were enjoyed by Centro
Escolar University “to a high extent” except for the
entitlement of grant of subsidies and other financial
incentives/assistance.

2.         University autonomy helped in the realization of
objectives, resulted to clarity of vision of the university and
made the university spiritually strong enough to be an agent
of change in the Philippine society.
3. Autonomous status served as an engine of Centro
Escolar University toward academic excellence.

4. Autonomy created self-confidence and pride to all
constituents of the university as well as greater
academic and administrative responsibilities.

5. University autonomy did not result to increased
student enrollment.

6. There is coordination between the university and
colleges/schools.
Recommendations
   The following recommendations are hereby endorsed:
1.      There is a need to review and intensify the
   internationalization thrust of the university to give
   opportunities to the faculty to interact with their counterpart
   abroad.

2.        There is a need to motivate the academic community to
     engage in research and pursue its vision to be a research
     university.

3.       That coordination with the Commission on Higher
     Education be further intensified for possible assistance in
     academic development in terms of grants and incentives.

4.        That further studies be conducted in the future to assess
     the benefits and challenges of university autonomy.

								
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