My Last Graduation in the RizalTech
Posted on May 12, 2018
I found the RizalTech in 1975 a squatter school. I will leave it as a great University, one of the best universities in the country.
But a lot of things must still be done.
I started wearing this academic gown or toga in 1987. I’ve had four sets of this blue and red toga in the 31 years since then. I will not be wearing the toga again. This year’s Commencement Exercises were my last in the RizalTech. I have served the University for almost 8 years now as University President, and in November, 2018, my term will be ending. By November, I would have served the RizalTech for 40 years.
The RizalTech is now ranked 24th among all Schools, Colleges, and Universities, public and private, in the country, according to Webometrics. It ranked 166th in 2015, 135th in 2016, and 31st in 2017. In 2018, it has attained the 24th rank. Not bad for a school which struggled most of its life.
When I became President in 2010 all I wanted for the RizalTech was respect. I worked hard to win for us the respect of the academic world. All I wanted is for the RizalTech to be a good University. It’s that simple, to be a good University.
But it was not easy. It was hard work all the way.
In 1975, when I transferred to the Rizal Technological Colleges, it was a squatter in the Rizal High School campus. It occupied the Isidro Rodriguez Hall, a long building along the length of the campus adjacent to the Marikina River. The classrooms were ill-maintained, full of graffiti, with toilets without running water, and grounds which swirled with dust during summer. It was about to be closed down in 1978. I led the struggle for its survival.
After three Presidents I had my time. I would not waste a single moment of it. Each day I would be thinking of ways to improve the University. I started to Think Small, because Confucius said that if you want to build a mountain you must start carrying small pebbles. These small pebbles accumulated in time. Drinking fountains. Cleanliness. Computers. Repairs and renovations. Repainting and repairs of existing buildings.
Improvement in our performance in the licensure examinations. Executive Masters program for the faculty. A research culture is developed. Continuing sports excellence. Recycling of materials.
Wifi Quadrangle. A Quadrangle for the students and not for vehicles. Covered bleachers in the Quadrangle. Park benches. Basketball, volleyball and Sepak courts. Quadrangle oval.
Pasig Campus revival.
Maple wood Gym. Solar Power.
New buildings. Eight new buildings in 8 years. Computer laboratories. Computers in the libraries. Books. Computerized and on-line enrollment system.
International and national linkages, partnerships and collaboration.
Astronomy. Urban agriculture. Mushrooms.
Laboratory equipment. Astronomy and meteorology observatories.
PRAISE incentives. Research incentives.
Sports and Cultural excellence. Academic Excellence. Level III accreditation for dozens of programs.
We will be repairing and renovating the Profeta and Estolas Buildings, and the MAB. Laboratories will be repaired. Even the face of Jose Rizal must be retouched. The Dorm needs repairs again. The eating kiosk and promenade will be renovated. More equipment and computers will be ordered. A new library building will be built.
I faced so many challenges. So many trials and tribulations. So many sleepless nights. My successor will face his or her own.
A lot of things must still be done. Take care of our students and co-workers.