Third, I would like to simply say how I love the newly rearticulated vision-mission (VM) statement of DLSU, which is to be:
A leading learner-centered research university, bridging faith and scholarship in the service of society, especially the poor.
The VM statement has four parts: teaching (“leading learner-centered university”), research (“leading research university;” “scholarship”), community service (“service of society, especially the poor”), and faith.
Since the first three (teaching, research, and community service) are expected of any university, and the fourth (faith) is expected of any Catholic university, one might wonder, so what’s so special about the newly rearticulated VM for me to say that I “love” it?
Well, first, it is concise. I’m sure those who’ve never been able to remember their school’s or organization’s VM would appreciate the conciseness of the newly rearticulated DLSU VM.
Second, it is cogent. It clearly spells out what kind of teaching, research, and community service DLSU will focus on. On the matter of teaching, the VM says that we will be learner-centered (hope to blog on this soon). On the matter of research, the VM says that we will bridge faith and research/scholarship in the service of society/the poor (another future blog post). On the matter of community service, the VM says that faith and research will drive our service to the poor (another future blog post).
Third, it is compelling. It calls us to be leaders in teaching and research. It calls us to integrate faith and scholarship. It calls us to do all these in service of society, especially the poor.
Fourth, it is challenging. It is challenging (some would say impossible) to be learner-centered while at the same time excelling in research. It is challenging (again some would say impossible) to integrate faith and scholarship. It is challenging to teach for poverty, to do research that will address poverty, and to do community service that is integrated with the disciplines, and to bring all these under a single strategic framework.
Fifth, it is unapologetically Lasallian. The Lasallian spirituality is, simply put:
In other words, in the Lasallian spirituality, zeal (sustained excellence in what one does) and love (abiding unconditional agape for others, especially the poor) are rooted in faith (belief in, love for, obedience to, and trust in God).
I am proud of the newly rearticulated VM. Kudos to Br. Ricky Laguda, who led and facilitated its writing when he was Chancellor of DLSU! (Br. Ricky is now President of De La Salle Philippines and Sector Leader of the De La Salle Brothers in the country.)
Now the next step is to collaboratively craft a transformative strategy to achieve the VM. A few weeks ago I presented in a conference an approach to strategic planning that is collaborative, transformative, and integrative. Though I plan to use it in FORMDEV, I believe the approach can scale up to an organization as large as DLSU.