Update on ADDU Board of Trustees’ Meeting of 12 Nov. 2011
In the second regular meeting of the year, the ADDU Board of
Trustees came to a better appreciation of the plans of ADDU to build a new 20-storey, 60,000+ sq. m. “Community Center.” In the first regular board meeting, the trustees had approved in principle the proposition for this center, pending re-orientation of its design so as not to build on property not yet in the ownership of the University. The plans had meanwhile been re-oriented.
Archt. Christopher Ong spent an hour presenting his architectural design to the Board. It included a 6,000 sq.m covered plaza for student offices, cafes, eateries, stores, exhibits, and the like, much needed working space for faculty including new office complexes for the Academic Vice President and the Deputy Vice President for Formation, the University Archives, the Office and work area of the University Research Council, the Office and work areas of the University Social Engagement and Advocacy Council, the University Guest Tract, the Jesuit Residence, the Sports and Fitness Complex, a parking facility for some 300 cars, and a 4000-person Convention Center, and a new 700-person University Chapel.
Following Archt. Ong’s presentation, the members of the Board discussed his plans with him, ascertaining that the architect has properly provided for “a green building” with reference to water use and power generation, proper accessibility, sufficient generator power, and safety provisions in cases of emergency.
After Archt. Ong had left the board room, the trustees discussed the status of the project in the context of the government of the Society of Jesus. For this portion of the meeting, the participation of Fr. Roberto Yap, S.J., Treasurer of the Philippine Province SJ, who could not be physically present due to a serious knee injury, was enabled through Skype. He presented the comments of the Province Finance Committee. First, he explained the context of the Committee’s remarks, stating that the ADDU is governed by civil law – where the ADDU Board of Trustees is its highest policy-making body – but also by canon law and Jesuit law. Because of the latter, ADDU projects involving major construction, land acquisition and incurrence of debt ultimately require the permission of the General Superior of the Society of Jesus. The Provincial Superior recommends this to him after due consultation with his official consultors and with the Province Finance Committee. Both the consultors and the Province Finance Committee are advisory to the Provincial.
In this context, Fr. Yap shared the recommendations of the Finance Committee which was basically to separate the academic component of the project from the “commercial component” suggesting that each be treated, judged and managed separately. Fr. President, however, stated that from the very beginning the project had been presented as integral to the operation of the school. Even the large convention center would serve the community for such as large-scale academic convocations, big liturgical celebrations, cultural presentations, and graduations. The complex could be sustained by the school operation alone.
It was however appreciated that for the incidental benefits to the school that could come from opening school facilities to the market, the administration was already working on a business plan and feasibility study, and would complete this soonest. Chairman Paul Dominguez offered to connect Fr President with important players in the tourist industry.
Fr. Provincial said the project would be discussed in the next Province Consultors meeting. While he said he could not state when Fr. General might approve the project, he did give a green light for the architectural plans to proceed – without, of course, binding the university to their implementation.
Meanwhile, Fr. President reported to the Board that for the first time ever the ADDU has benefitted from on-line registration. Through the leadership of Fr. Denny Toledo, SJ, new Information Technology czar of the ADDU, the new system was put in place – allowing many students to register even without coming on campus.
Fr. President also reported that of the 14,000 students expected, some 13,900 had already enrolled in the various units of ADDU for the second semester. The enrollment however was still ongoing.
He also reported there was good progress in the reorganization of the University under three key councils, the University Academic Council, the University Research Council, and the University Social Engagement and Advocacy Council.
In this context he also reported that the general reception to the Vision-Mission as approved by the Board in its previous meeting was quite positive. He referred to his speech to the Faculty Summit on 4 November 2011 (Cf. https://taborasj.wordpress.com).
The Board approved a “Policy on Standards and Procedures for Naming Buildings or Parts of Building in the University.” Basically, the BoT approves naming and renaming on the recommendation of the President after deliberation on the President’s Council.
Finally, the Board approved that the honorary doctorate be awarded to Ambassador Howard Dee for his outstanding service to Mindanao; that the Bp. Clovis Thibault Award for to Mo. Assumpta David, RVM, and that the Dr. Jess and Trining Dela Paz award be awarded ex aequo to the Our Lady of Victor Training Center and the SOS Children’s Village Davao, both on their 30th anniversary of service.