Today we begin a dynamic process
of collective re-visioning for De La Salle University.
The generations of Lasallians
that have come before us can take justifiable pride in the achievements
of this great institution. By any respectable yardstick, De La Salle
University can lay claim to being an excellent academic institution
at the service of God and country.
At the same time, it is precisely
because of the public esteem and prestige that the university enjoys
that we feel a tremendous responsibility to re-view, re-vision, and
re-plan how we can respond more effectively to the great moral and economic
crisis that we face today.
First, let me comment on the moral
and spiritual crisis. I am convinced that the global and national crises
we face are rooted in humanitys loss of a clear moral compass.
Almost everything has become relative; there are very few clear boundaries
regarding morally acceptable public behavior. Laws are flagrantly violated
and no effective sanctions are in place. Given this, how is De La Salle
to educate its students?
This is the most important question
for us, and we will address it through a serious process of multi-sectoral
dialogue and consultation. I have my own views, but I want all the University
stakeholders to be fully involved in a clear articulation of the moral
and spiritual values formation that should form the core of the DLSU
vision for 2011 and beyond.
Second, let me comment on the
crisis of poverty and underdevelopment. I think most of us have our
pet theories as to why the Philippines is poor, relative at least to
our richer Asian neighbors. Most of these theories are based on economic,
political and sociological analyses. Most of us also have a fairly clear
idea of what needs to be done to conquer poverty. So, why cant
we do it?
My own view is that our main problem
is lack of sustained good governance, both at the local and national
levels. If we can find a way to have the kind of good governance that,
for example, Malaysia and Singapore have enjoyed for the past four decades,
we have a chance to conquer the institutionalized corruption, incompetence
and injustice that breed poverty.
With the Universitys available
resources, we are building a research culture that aims to provide solutions
to our national problem. We call on our people in the campus to develop
research projects that will support the government and the private sector.
I am putting together an ambitious multidisciplinary study for the next
two to three years. This Green Paper is a kind of blueprint
that should help guide our leaders in the near future!
Among the primary goals for De
La Salle, we have identified a few: (1) to make DLSUs educational
services more accessible to poor but deserving students, and (2) to
further strengthen our research culture. We our floating our own DLSU
bonds, as pre-need plan that can generate substantial funds for scholarships
and research, and we will strengthen our proven fund raising efforts.
We hope to generate substantial funds for scholarships and research,
and we will strengthen our proven fund raising efforts.
I am confident and optimistic
that our re-visioning and strategizing for the next ten years will succeed
to the extent that the whole Lasallian community will come together
and work in a genuine spirit of love, unity and solidarity. Therefore,
I call on all of you to join us in this grand celebration of a glorious
past and a bold response to a challenging future.
May Jesus continue to live in
our hearts, and may St. La Salle continue to inspire and guide us in
our mission to serve God and country. Animo La Salle!