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TRANSFORMING R&D CULTURE FROM A TECH-VOCATIONAL BASED INSTITUTION TO A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY: SSU EXPERIENCE

TRANSFORMING R&D CULTURE FROM A TECH-VOCATIONAL BASED INSTITUTION TO A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY: SSU EXPERIENCE
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  1 TRANSFORMING R&D CULTURE FROM A TECH-VOCATIONAL BASED INSTITUTION TO A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY: SSU EXPERIENCE FELISA E GOMBA Samar State University Catbalogan City, Samar Abstract Vocational Education Act which was passed in the Philippines in 1927 created technical vocational(tech-voc) schools with the controlling purpose to fit students for useful employment. This mandate to tech-voc schools created a culture that has remained even until these schools have been converted into university. Samar Trade School(STS)) and about 31 others in the region have been created through that vocational education act which was legislated into nine(9) state universities and one college with little consideration on its capacities in performing one of the major identities of a university which is research. In August 7, 2004, STS finally becomes Samar State University(SSU) through Republic Act 9313. It is during this conversion that emphasized the new weakness of the newly converted university in terms of research and development. With greater expectation as a new university and to live to its name, the SSU management crafted several strategies and slowly transformed the appreciation of personnel towards Research & Development and Extension(R&D/E). The major factors consequential in transforming the research culture from tech-voc  based institution into becoming a research university was the higher R&D leadership skills of the upper management who crafted, approved and strictly implemented a strategic phase-by-phase introduction of reforms within the university towards improving research productivity. The formation of critical mass(greater than majority involved in R&D/E related activities) for a sustainable change was realized when government has forcedly implemented reforms in State Universities and Colleges such as Executive Order No. 80, Normative Financing Scheme, and the implementation of the Philippine Higher Education Roadmap to name a few that required higher productivity in R&D/E among others. The sustainability of the transformation can be secured if the university president as well as the members of the top management from academic and facilitative departments has high and strong R&D/E skills and R&D/E appreciation respectively.  Keywords: Research, Research and Development, R&D management, transforming research culture, RATIONALE  2 The research function of a state university is a vital importance since it is mandated to be an effective instrument for national development as regulated by the Commission on Higher Education(CHED) through the Republic Act 7722 known as the “Higher Education Act of 1994”. Moreover, the UNESCO World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty- first Century states that “higher education institution should advance, create and disseminate knowledge through research and provide, as part of its service to the community, relevant expertise to assist societies in cultural, social and economic development, promoting and developing scientific and technological research as well as research in the social sciences, the humanities and the creative arts”. The Philippines has 110 State Universities and Colleges(SUCs) which are expected to contribute to the national development through human resource professional training, research and extension. Most of these SUCs were converted technical-vocational schools created in 1927 through the vocational act. In Eastern Visayas, there were six(6) technical-vocational based institutions that were converted into universities and one of these is Samar State University(SSU) through Republic Act (RA) 9313 in August 4, 2004. SSU started as a laboratory high school for trade technical training. It was converted into Samar Trade School in 1932, Samar School of Arts and Trade in June 15, 1959 thru Republic Act 2435, and into Samar State Polytechnic College(SSPC) in  November 18, 1981 thru Batas Pambansa Bilang 323. The research efforts of SSU started as early as Samar Trade School(Annual Reports, 1932), when faculty and students were required to develop innovative products for their trade skills competitions and exhibits. However, these were not sustained,  because at that time research was not a part of the duties of the faculty. The mandate of  3 trade schools and tech-voc was to train students to have specific technical skills that they could use after their secondary education. In developing countries, tech-voc institutions were established to support socio-economic rural prosperity and progress with the hope that the graduates were honed with necessary skills to start their own entrepreneurial works/jobs(Tilak, 2002:4). It is on this purpose that Samar State Polytechnic College(SSPC) had not considered research as a major function and had almost zero in research output. The RA 9313 which converted SSPC into SSU explicitly identified research as one of the mandated functions of the university. This forced the SSU management to create the Office of the Vice-President for Planning, Research and Extension Services to set its research and extension directions, wherein, several strategies and approaches were implemented in order to re-engineer the research culture in the university. OBJECTIVES This paper aimed to assess the transformation of the research culture from a tech-voc based institution to a research university and evaluate the research management of Samar State University. Specifically, it was guided by the following objectives: 1.   To describe the R&D management from 1982 to 2012 in terms of: 1.1   leadership; 1.2    profile of faculty by education qualification and rank; 1.3   historical accounts on R&D strategies and innovations implemented; and 1.4   research outputs. 2.   To determine the factors consequential in transforming the research culture from tech-voc based institution to research university in terms of:  4 2.1   leadership; 2.2   government support; and 2.3   incentives and awards. METHODOLOGY This paper aimed to document the processes used by the University in transforming from a tech-voc institution towards a research university taken into account from 1982 to 2012. It also identified the factors that helped changing the R&D culture  positively. It employed documentary analysis and interview of leaders, academic administrators, presidents, and research managers on the stated timeline of this study. The documents from the human resource management office were taken to describe the  profile of the faculty and research managers in terms of educational qualifications and ranks. The data on research policies implemented were taken from the records’ , board secretary ’s , and R&D ’s  offices. Other documents on research outputs, research projects,  publications, patents, technology generation, and awards were taken from the annual reports of the University. The factors consequential in transforming tech-voc based institution towards a research university were taken from structured interview and evidences of documents gathered from different sources and offices. The analytical frameworks used in this study are percentages, mean, and time series. The R&D leaderships were grouped according to the terms of the president which is divided into these periods: 1982-1992; 19993-1999; 2000-2004; 2005-2011; and 2012- present. In these periods, the leadership attributes such research skills, research outputs, research policies supported, research capability conducted or supported, linkage  5 established for R&D, and external funds sourced out for research projects were rated. The rating ranged from 1 to 5 measured according to the number of these attributes. The rating of 5 is highest and 1 is lowest as shown in Table 1. Table 1. The R&D Leadership Measurements R&D Leadership Attributes Indicators Rating Scale R&D Skills PhD 3 MS/MA only 2 BS degree only 1 Participated in at least 2 scientific conference 1 Attended at least 2 R&D related training 1 R&D Output Published in refereed journal 2 Published in local(non refereed journal) 2 Patented technology 2 Patent pending 1 Presented paper in at least in national fora 1 R&D policies More than 2 R&D policies per year 2 At least 1 policy per year 1 R&D capability building Activities conducted More than five activities per year 5 Four activities per year 4 Three activities per year 3 Two activities per year 3 One activity per year 3  None None/blank Linkages established and Supported At least five functional linkages 5 Four functional linkages 4 Three functional linkages 3 Two functional linkages 2 One functional linkages 1  None None/blank Externally funded R&D Projects Greater than PhP 2 M 5 PhP 1.0 M to PhP 2M 4 PhP 500 T to PhP 999T 3 PhP 100T to PhP 499T 2 PhP 99T and below 1  None None/blank DISCUSSION This section presents the description of the research management from 1982 to
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