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SDRC@33 Anniversary Program
Opening Remarks of Br. Narciso Erguiza Jr., FSC, President and Chancellor, De La Salle University

Dr. Dennis Trinidad, Director of the Social Development Research Center, deans, faculty, research fellows, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I would like to first congratulate the SDRC on its 33rd anniversary. This office has come a long way and continues to walk along the path of excellence with such zeal.

Research and Development was an area strongly emphasized by one of our esteemed former University Presidents, Br. Andrew Gonzalez. During his time, he gave this a strong push by putting in place the infrastructure and sources of funding for the implementation of research projects. With the thrust on research during his term, the University saw the establishment of the University Research Coordination Office and the college research centers as well as the publication of the various journals of the colleges.

Br. Andrew also underscored academic linkages with universities and research centers abroad. By keeping pace with global and technological advancements, he was able to steer De La Salle University to becoming one of the premier academic institutions in the country.

Throughout the years, even after his time, his vision has continued to live on and grow. Just recently, De La Salle University re-evaluated its vision-mission and the “new direction” is still very much in line with Br. Andrew’s original vision—“To be a leading learner-centered research university, bridging faith and scholarship in the service of society, especially the poor.”

How can our university help towards fostering human and social development? How can we help in knowledge production that will benefit the larger community?

During the Millennium Summit in September 2000, 189 government leaders decided and agreed on “a set of eight time-bound targets” that came to be known as the Millennium Development Goals. In sequential order, these are to: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. The target date to achieve these eight goals is 2015, a mere three years from now.

In a recent press conference on the Millennium Development Goals, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, reported major achievements in “halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of diseases, promoting access to education and improving health care”. Despite these achievements, challenges remain “including massive disparities in social development between and within regions and countries”. Mr. Ban Ki Moon believes that, “When we pull together, we can achieve great things”. For us, this means that we need to become more involved in social development; we need to engage with the larger community.

Former Special Adviser of UNESCO Dr. Bikas Sanyal (2005) explained that research is important in the “promotion of education for all” because:

  1. Research can contribute to formulation of policy on education for all.
  2. Research can help in designing and running programs of education for all.
  3. As a generator of knowledge, research helps continuous update of knowledge about problems or issues of education for all and launch innovative and effective programs.
  4. Once programs are launched, research helps to know about the outcome and the reasons for the extent of success or failure. In the case of the latter, research helps in taking corrective measures and thus plays an important role in the efforts for achieving the goals of education for all.

On August 23, 2011, members of our University Research Council agreed that “the university research community works together and by association towards total human development and social transformation.” In the same meeting, it was decided that DLSU would “actively engage in research that secure positive, meaningful, lasting, and inclusive growth in society and contribute to nation-building” by seeking to:

  1. alleviate poverty;
  2. promote peace and social justice;
  3. protect the welfare of women, youth at risk, and other vulnerable sectors of society;
  4. create wealth and resources to bridge the various societal divides;
  5. provide models and avenues for stewardship of God’s creation; and
  6. influence policy, governance, and the management of institutions.

From 2011 to 2021, the University will allot resources for high-impact strategic research activities under the following research themes:

  1. Food, Nutrition and Health
  2. Sustainability, the Environment, and Energy
  3. Women, Children and Family
  4. Living Culture and Contemporary Societies
  5. Learners and Learning Innovations

These may all seem overwhelming, but I am confident that we as Lasallians, having been ingrained with the values of excellence and service to the community, are properly equipped and ready to achieve these goals.

May God continue to bless our efforts to help our nation and may St. La Salle continue to help light our way.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts, forever.

Thank you and have a pleasant morning.

 

 

 

 

 

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