It was a judicious move for the Western Mindanao State University to recreate its roadmap as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). This is anchored on the premise that the key to the success of any endeavor is rooted on logical, systematic and rational planning strategies. And the University is first HEI to partner with DAP through its enhancement program for SUCs to effect strategic planning and team building in Tagaytay City, last May 26-27, 2014.
In full force the University planning team headed by its president Dr. Milabel Enriquez Ho, painstakingly went through the process and single-mindedly met the conditions that reshaped plans for the University. Rigorous steps were taken to concretize plans for WMSU. The three-tiered planning steps zeroed in on the following questions: “where are we now”, to illustrate the regional situation for external analysis and highlight domestic concerns for internal analysis; “where do we want to go” to clarify its vision, mission and goals; and “how do we get there” to draw the strategy formulation for the implementation stage given its current status.
Dr. Corazon Lopez, Associate Dean GSPDM-DAP set the context for the planning sessions by generating expectations from the stakeholders. Crucial concerns on employment, competition and collaboration from other schools in the region, education trends on “SUCs amalgamation” and other outside factors to include the peace and order problem for environmental analysis. In addition, the Zamboanga City Development Plan, economic profile and information on opportunities in science and technology in the region were presented by Prof. Claro R. Potenciano of the University Planning Office, Dr. Teresita Socorro C. Ramos regional director of the National Economic Development Authority and Dr. Brenda N. Manzano, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology region 9, respectively. The internal analysis part was tricky in the sense that it prompted the team to draw an objective assessment of the status of its programs, projects and finances which it did.
It was a tough act for the team to have established a direction in the second phase taking into account unique factors essential to the positioning and branding of the University in Western Mindanao. Key Result Areas (KRAs) and Performance Indicators (PI) were further delineated in line with the University’s new vision, mission and goals (VMG) that synchronized with the different colleges and special offices’ respective VMGs.
Strategy formulation included identification of the University strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) deliberated earlier during the team’s external and internal analysis. The recognition of the University’ SWOT served as a “reality check” that would pave the way for responsive enhancement programs in the future. This part of strategy formulation shall be undertaken by the planning team in a separate session with DAP trainers together with the finalization of plans through negotiation with WMSU stakeholders and the evaluation of its implementation in the final stage.
The role played by Dr. Ho, the University President, the Board of Regents, college Deans, officials and the rest of the members of the strategic planning team was crucial to keep the University in the right track. The efforts put forward in the entire training for WMSU with DAP excellent mentors namely: Mr. Mario “Mayo” Lopez, Mr. Jonas George Soriano and Dr. are truly immeasurable if only to remind us that good deeds are not lost to people who believe that good governance is public service before personal interest.