“Malicious, irresponsible, and totally false – a disservice to the University of the Philippines-College of Engineering (UP-CoE) and the Filipino people” was the strong reaction of a UP-CoE official against a recently published article on The Philippine Star.

Engr. Christian Arranz, UP-CoE Chief Information Officer, expressed dismay over the Demand and Supply column of Mr. Pedro “Boo” Chanco entitled “Cheap politics at UP?” which the said newspaper printed last 25 October 2019.

“Engineers value accuracy and precision to the highest degree and the UP-CoE has always upheld and still continue to meticulously inculcate these to students of the State’s premier engineering institution,” Arranz stressed.

Arranz added that these basic and all the same vital principles are not exclusive to the field of engineering and must always be maintained and put into practice by other disciplines and fields of expertise. These can build or destroy integrity and reputation, among others.

“We acknowledge that any functioning democracy encourages checks and balances performed by a critical media, and UP, among all, should not be excused from criticisms. However, in good conscience, we cannot allow the derogatory claims made by the columnist, who is also an alumnus of the premier State University, left unchallenged,” Arranz vowed in disappointment, referring to Chanco’s rhetoric of hasty and sweeping generalization saying that the College of Engineering got a new Dean who is “not respected by the faculty” and is “seen as a political intrusion.”

According to Arranz, the UP-CoE, currently the largest college in UP Diliman and the UP System by number of faculty and students, has more than three hundred (>300) faculty members, which is also greater than the respective numbers of faculty members of UP Baguio, UP Cebu, and UP Mindanao.

“Having this number of faculty members, it is puzzling how Mr. Chanco concluded that our 19th Dean is ‘disrespected by the faculty’ and seen as a ‘political intrusion.’ What methodology was implemented, what factors were considered, what variables were studied, if there was a survey conducted,” Arranz asked as he advised “Mr. Chanco could have used empirical and quantitative data had he attended the public affirmation rites of our Dean last 08 October 2019, which literally packed the 200-seater Engineering theater at Melchor Hall.”

Arranz bared that the event was officiated by no less than Chancellor Michael Tan and was very well attended by colleagues, faculty, staff and students. Distinguished UP System and other UP Diliman officials, active and retired alike, were also in attendance and deemed to be one of the most celebrated and overwhelming UP-CoE ceremonies they have witnessed in recent history.

“It comes as no surprise because our newly elected Dean, Professor Ferdinand G. Manegdeg, with the rank of full professor has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the UP-CoE for the past forty (40) years. Within that period, he served many positions in our University including UP System and UP Diliman Human Resources and Development Director II; Program Development Associate of the Chancellor and three Presidents; Officer-In-Charge of the Offices of the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor (UP Diliman and UP Mindanao), UP-CoE, and National Engineering Center; and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Apart from that, he was a recipient of the Professional Degree Award for Mechanical Engineering by the UP Alumni Engineers and UP College of Engineering in 2016,” he pointed out.

Dean Manegdeg is a graduate of the BS Mechanical Engineering program in 1979. He finished his Master of Science from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 1981 and was awarded the Arthur Smithells Prize and the Best Student in the Master of Science in Combustion & Energy Program. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research of the National Research Council of the Philippines and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. To date, he has a patent and thirty (30) published local and international peer-reviewed Journals and Proceedings and participated in seventy (70) research projects.

Moreover, Arranz spelled out that these exemplary achievements plus Prof. Manegdeg’s pro-faculty, pro-REPS, pro-staff, pro-student and pro-alumni administration towards national and global excellence to genuinely Serve the People with Honor and Excellence are the rationale behind his Deanship – which neither requires a PhD nor a professional license. In fact, in UP, Deanships, Chancellorships and even Presidencies do not require PhDs. These positions, however, necessitate strong academic leadership. Mr. Chanco mentioned that Columbia University chose UP alumna Shiela Coronel as Dean of Academic Affairs of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism on the merits of her outstanding professional excellence.

“With such standards of evident academic and professional merits applied, why would not Prof. Ferdinand Manegdeg be considered worthy of the post, as Mr. Chanco implies,” Arranz queried.

Furthermore, Arranz revealed that even if Dean Manegdeg went through the selection process which was disadvantageous to him, the qualifications and administrative positions previously held by Dean Manegdeg, with the rank of full professor, were more than enough to triumph fair-and-square the two-cornered election over an incumbent and Associate Professor, who failed to get reelected by the Board of Regents for a second term.

“I am delighted to have a new Dean who does not only have the resolve to revitalize our unit but has already immediately started effecting the needed changes to fix procedures and systems in our College,” Arranz exclaimed.

Arranz invited Chanco to revisit UP Diliman and drop by Melchor Hall where the columnist could do proper research which should be qualitative and quantitative, empirical and anecdotal and practical to be reminded of the importance of accuracy and precision in presenting information, or misinformation, as facts and truths.

“We hope that it is not the ironies of irony that it is Mr. Chanco, who is meddling this early, in the upcoming election for new UP Diliman Chancellor. Now, that is cheap… and truly sad,” Engr. Arranz lamented.

Original article posted at https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/11/18/1969581/coe-responds-boo-chanco/amp/