“Here, our power dressing is shirt and jeans,” Dr. Alita T. Roxas says as if to welcome the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Delegation to MSU-IIT culture. Dr. Roxas spoke in behalf of Dr. Franco G. Teves, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to welcome the WMSU delegation led by Dr. Adrian P. Semorlan, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts of WMSU.
Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) is located in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao and is the top 6 university in the country ranked this year by the number of Centers of Developments and Centers of Excellence that they have. IIT gives a consistent 100% performance in the board examinations in the different disciplines especially in the Metallurgical and Electrical Engineering, with a very strong culture in the STEM disciplines as exemplified by the newly establish Premiere Research Institute for the Sciences and Mathematics. But IIT also boasts of a vibrant community in Culture and the Arts through the establishment of their Center for Culture and the Arts headed by renowned playwright Steven P. C. Fernandez.
The WMSU team accreditation team ventured to MSU-IIT to look at existing practices of the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) and the College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA). The delegation consisted of the different chairpersons of the College of Liberal Arts, namely: Dr. Fhadzralyn A. Karanain of the English Department, Ms. Dezza S. Mohammad of the Accountancy Department, Mr. Noel Tarrazona of the Mass Communication Department, Dr. Ryan D. Biong of the History Department, Asst. Prof. Cristina S. Quinalayo of the Psychology Department, Asst. Prof. Ma. Rosette B. Perano of the Economics Department, and Mr. Al-Ghani Mohammad of the Political Science Department. With them are other faculty members who are point persons in the accreditation headed by the Accreditation and Quality Assurance coordinator Dr. Celso Pernia and assistance coordinator, Asst. Prof. Joyce Mangubat. Also present were Mr. Edralin Villanueva of the Mass Communications Department, Mr. Roel Marcial and College Secretary, Mr. Roel P. Borja of the History Department.
The team was welcomed at Ideya Innovation Center with an opening program led by the College of Arts and Social Sciences Dean Dr. Marie Joy D. Banawa and Asst. Dean Prof. Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan. Dr. Alita Roxas, former dean of the School of Graduate Studies and CBAA faculty, remarks how accreditation is time-consuming and resource-consuming, but will have its pay-offs in the end such as external institutional support and a more vibrant academic community. Video presentations showcasing MSU-IIT student life, achievements, and the 50th Anniversary of the Institute were presented afterwards.
Dr. Adrian P. Semorlan, the visionary dean of the College of Liberal Arts, gave a message in response to the host university while also mentioning his roots in the city and Institute where both his mother and father were figures in the administration and faculty. He also introduced the WMSU delegation with joy and pride.
Break-out sessions were held shortly afterwards and the WMSU delegation were accommodated in the offices of CBAA and CASS. Area heads met with their respective equivalents in the MSU-IIT team to talk one-on-one and to learn from each other’s practices for accreditation. WMSU CLA aiming for a Level 2 accreditation under the Philippine Accrediting Agency for State Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) earnestly examined documents made available by both colleges of the host university, noting points to adapt and from which, to remodel for the preparations for accreditation.
The WMSU delegation was given a tour by none other than the CASS Dean, Dr. Banawa, to different departments of the College of Arts and Social Sciences. The team were hosted with lunch at noon at the HRM laboratory in the MSU-IIT IDS library building. This was nothing but a manifestation of the generosity of the hosts.
In the afternoon, the consultations continued as well as the examination of documents. At 3:00 P.M., the WMSU delegation were officially presented via a courtesy call to the Chancellor of the Institute, Dr. Sukarno Tanggol at the Institute Boardroom. Also present were Dr. Jamail Kamlian, Institute Secretary and CASS Dean, Dr. Marie Joy Banawa. Dr. Tanggol gave a speech on the current state of the Institute and shared pointers on what he has learned about what educational institutions need to succeed, citing talent to be one of them. The Chancellor punctuates his speech by articulating his thanks for WMSU for having chosen IIT for the educational visit, saying that he is honored to welcome them. The meeting ended on a very positive note and an invitation from the delegation to organize a talk on federalism in Zamboanga, inviting both Dr. Tanggol and Dr. Kamlian.
On the second day, continued to peruse documents and consulted with the MSU-IIT team.
The educational visit came to be a source of inspiration and rejuvenation for the WMSU team. They carried home with them plans and newfound dreams for the University of Choice in Western Mindanao, especially for the beloved College of Liberal Arts and for the community WMSU serves. Not only that, plans for future partnerships with the host institution are in the works to strengthen academic and institutional engagement in both regions in Mindanao. (Floraime O. Pantaleta, College of Liberal Arts)