Written by the University Information Office | Photos by Josef Lopez
“I recall saying before that quality work is a form of prayer; it is to love God with our heart, soul, and mind in the diligent and faithful exercise of the talents He has marvelously endowed us with. With a renewed commitment, let us be courageous in taking bold steps necessary for our institutional goals to come to fruition.
As the Light of the North, let our selfless attitude sustain our commitment to a life of mission and excellence at SLU – as administrators, faculty, and staff. Let our yearnings be our map and guideposts as we navigate the highs and lows of the new academic year.”Rev. Fr. Gilbert B. Sales, CICM, PhD
To commemorate the culmination of the significant milestones and achievements of the Louisian community for the academic year 2022-2023, Saint Louis University held the 2023 Academic Session at the Prince Bernhard Gymnasium on July 31 with the theme, “The Year That Was: Reflections and Yearnings.” This year’s Academic Session includes the President’s Report and the Gawad San Luis for Employees.
The year-end review is not only a celebration of excellence but is also an expression of gratitude for the growth and success that flourished within the community as a Catholic Education Institution in the educational landscape, locally and internationally, under the leadership of SLU President Rev. Fr. Gilbert B Sales, CICM, PhD.
Gawad San Luis, the annual awarding ceremony for employees, is a concrete manifestation that SLU, as an educational institution, truly fosters a culture that values excellence. This means seeing, recognizing, and celebrating the achievements of the faculty and staff and creating a culture of continuous improvement where feedback and constructive criticism are seen as opportunities for growth.
SLU President’s Report – The Year That Was: Reflections of 2022-2023
Rev. Fr. Gilbert B. Sales stated that the success of the academic year 2022-2023 was not a product of a singular act, nor was it from one single person or office. Instead, it was through the judicious and seamless cooperation and collaboration by the entire SLU workforce, guided by the core values of Missio et Excellentia.
That said, Rev. Fr. Sales reported on the milestones of the year, focusing on the three-fold agenda: Solidifying Catholic Mission and Identity, Sustaining Excellence and Quality Catholic Education, and Amplifying Commitment to Society.
Agenda 1: Solidifying Catholic Mission and Identity
Through the Office of Mission and Identity, Saint Louis University ably steered the Louisian community towards the Christian concept of life centered on Christ. The meaningful teachings of Christian Formation Education subjects, as well the various church activities that were conducted, including communal prayers, departmental-sponsored masses, devotional prayers, as well as bible sharing sessions, students’ and employees’ recollection, and praise and worship, were indispensable practices that raised each Louisian’s awareness of the importance of gospel-values that deepen their Catholicity, as well as their role as witnesses of One God.
Promoting the wellness of the youth and their families was also at the forefront of solidifying the Catholic Mission and Identity through the services provided by the Psychotherapeutic Clinic, Halfway Home for Boys, and the newly established Pedagogical and Developmental Center of the Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center.
In line with the CICM Mission and Identity, SLU worked towards preserving and promoting the diverse Cordilleran culture through the University’s Community Extension and Outreach Programs that respond to indigenous peoples’ rights and welfare.
The recently concluded activities sponsored by the University with Catholic Organizations like the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines (ACUP), the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and the incoming international conference of the Association of South and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU) this August 21-26, 2023 foster meaningful partnerships and linkages in promoting Quality Catholic Education.
Furthermore, the initial presentation of the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards in the Basic and Higher Education are concrete examples of the continuous formation into the Catholic Faith of its learners and staff.
Agenda 2: Sustaining Excellence and Quality Catholic Education
Critical to the success of the institution is the formation of the faculty and staff towards a mindset of excellence. As SLU strives to maintain its position as a trailblazer in the educational landscape, the university invested in the continual development and growth of the faculty and staff to ensure effective learning delivery to the ever-changing needs of the priority client — the students.
The results of this direction include the accreditations of various academic programs, program distinctions, and the exceptional performance of SLU in board and licensure examinations.
In the 2022 Bar Examinations, the School of Law produced an examinee that ranked No. 18. SOL was ranked Number 2 among the Top Performing Schools.
The School of Nursing, Allied Health, and Biological Sciences consistently raised the banner of excellence in a series of Board Examinations:
- November 2022 Nurse Licensure Examinations: SLU was ranked as the Top Performing School with 11 topnotchers (2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th places);
- November 2022 Pharmacist Licensure Examinations: SLU was ranked as the Top Performing School with a topnotcher in 5th place;
- December 2022 Radiologic Technology Board Examinations: SLU ranked 2nd Top Performing School with a topnotcher in 8th place;
- March 2023 Board Examinations for Medical Technologists: The Medical Laboratory Science Program was Ranked 2nd Top Performing School with three topnotchers (5th, 9th, and 10th places);
- April 2023 Pharmacist Licensure Examination: SLU was ranked number 1 as Top Performing School;
- May 2023 Nurse Licensure Examinations: 100% passing rate.
In the April 2023 Civil Engineering Licensure Examinations, a Louisian Engineer from the School of Engineering and Architecture ranked 2nd.
In the March 2023 Physical Licensure Examination, the School of Medicine again exceeded the National Passing Rate of 84%.
In the March 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers, the School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts (STELA) through the Professional Education program produced top-performing examinees in both the Elementary and Secondary Levels.
Program Accreditation and Distinction
For satisfactorily meeting the accreditation standards and requirements, the School of Medicine was given a Level II re-accredited by PAASCU for five years until 2028. The School of Medicine applied for Level III accreditation status in connection with this.
The School of Advanced Studies was given a 5-year re-accreditation for six programs and a 3-year Accreditation for ten programs. A curriculum summit for the graduate programs was likewise held to ensure constructive alignment in delivering high-quality graduate studies.
As one of the leading Centers of Excellence for Teacher Education in the country, STELA was invited for a consultation by the Teacher Education Council chaired by Vice President and DepEd Secretary Hon. Sarah Duterte-Carpio in crafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11713 or the Excellence in Teacher Education Act and by the US Embassy – Cultural Affairs Office for the Street Law Program. In 2022-2023, the international student and faculty exchange resumed in the BA Communication program of STELA.
The School of Accountancy, Management, Computing, and Information Studies concluded its curriculum presentation and course mapping meeting for Curriculum Integration of Industry-Recognized courses with the Hospitality Institute of America – Philippines, Inc. The School also forged a partnership with the Filipino Board of Service Excellence.
The Basic Education Schools was named SEAMEO Best Completer Award in the SEAMEO Science Olympiad in Penang, Malaysia.
The Commission on Higher Education- Cordillera Administrative Region lauded SLU’s commitment to excellence during the 2023 Gawad Parangal for the exceptional achievements that Louisians garnered in various disciplines.
Research and Innovation
Through the robust culture of research and innovation in 2022-2023, the workforce’s and institution’s growth and advancement have been significant. Faculty members have consistently been engaged in scholarly works, including research published in reviewed journals, professional conference presentations, and local, national, and international linkages inked into a memorandum of agreement by different schools.
A fitting highlight of this academic year was the conferment in January 2023 of the Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen – Dagupan, Most. Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. – for embodying the Louisian and CICM Core Values and for his meaningful contributions to the social and moral transformation of the society and people His Excellency interacted with.
The Importance of Internationalization as a World-Class University
In today’s globalized and seemingly borderless world, SLU works toward establishing a solid presence on the international stage. With the CICM’s thrust towards borderless education, SLU has actively promoted its interests and values globally while building relationships with other institutions to help achieve institutional goals.
SLU has reinforced its status as a world-class university by being ranked #103 in South-Eastern Asia and #651-700 in the top 1,500 universities in Asia by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. This affirmation is strengthened with SLU being rated as a Three Stars Institution for Excellence after rigorous independent data collection and analysis of the QS Stars methodology performance metrics.
In the Applied Higher Education Rankings, SLU ranked #21 in the ASEAN, #3 in the Philippines, and #1 in the internationalization sub-category. This highlights SLU’s quality of teaching and learning, employability, research, community engagement, internationalization, and institutional reputation in the ASEAN region.
In its first year participating in the distinguished Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, SLU ranked 801 -1000 in 2023. The results in the Times Higher Education solidify SLU’s commitment to delivering sustainable quality education that impacts the community and society at large.
SLU’s performance in World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) is commendable, ranked 29th in Industrial Revolution, 40th in Industrial Application, and 43rd in Entrepreneurial Spirit. WURI is an established international ranking system recognizing innovative programs that make a genuine difference in society.
These accolades are just the first of many that placed the institution at par with prominent universities at the national level and more so in the international academic landscape. This is the institution’s bold act to make SLU more internationally visible.
Agenda 3: Amplifying Commitment to Society
SLU’s extension and outreach programs and activities germane to a specific community’s needs contribute significantly to the immediate needs of the communities concerned and to a larger scope of partner communities. These programs are carefully planned and designed through participatory and community-based rapid rural appraisal to enrich the learning experiences of different collaborators and help them develop a range of competencies, knowledge, attitude, and skills that will truly enrich the Louisian Core Values of Christian Spirit, Social Involvement, Creativity and Innovativeness, and Competence.
As an institution that gives primordial importance to its employees and their well-being, a culture change that celebrates, champions, and encourages practices that help promote health, creativity, and authenticity is at the forefront of SLU’s goals toward the overall improvement of the University.
SLU established the Family Welfare Program to allow students and employees to engage in sports and other physical activities. Another facet of wellness that was underscored is the Pause Initiative, launched through a Day of Pause to ensure the mental wellness of its stakeholders. Taking a “pause” from the noise of our everyday routines at work is a means to fundamentally shift the way SLU operates and sustains employee well-being.
SLU’s Response to the Laudato Si
The response of SLU to the call of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Laudato Si Program in Ecological Protection and Environmental Preservation took shape through the University’s enrollment and submission to the seven-year Laudato Si Action Plan to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
The report includes the additional Sewage Treatment Plant at the main campus of the University in addition to the existing Sewage Treatment Plant on the Maryheights Campus. SLU’s advocacy in promoting sustainability emerged with the utilization of Solar Energy and Rain Water Catch Basins in the University.
SLU and its Role in Assisting Private and Catholic Schools
Another long-standing commitment of the University is to assist other regional private and Catholic schools. The Office of the University President coordinated with the Department of Science and Technology for the installation of STARBOOKs, an e-book and online library for Mathematics and Science lessons from Kindergarten to Senior High School. An initial 55 private basic education schools were recipients of this initiated partnership.
SLU also led in giving an orientation on the region’s Philippine Catholic Schools Standards for Basic and Higher Education. The CEAP National Office is also utilizing the self-assessment tool prepared by the University.
The SLU Sacred Heart Medical Center
The SLU Sacred Heart Medical Center’s culture of Care, Quality, Excellence, and Safety illuminates the hospital’s motto of “We Truly Care,” which gives premium to tender loving care to patients, manifesting its commitment to excellence in health care.
To ensure efficient and timely delivery of care, the driveway from Assumption Road leading to Cooperative Street is now open.
The new Cancer Center Building is 80% complete. The 128-slice CT – Scan was delivered last month and is currently undergoing installation.
The construction for the Multi–Level Parking Building has been set in motion, and a new traffic route for the vehicles entering Saint Louis University – Sacred Heart Medical Center is also underway.
Infrastructures and Other Projects
The revitalized alumni network commenced with the recently concluded Rambakan 2023. The first SLU Grand Alumni Homecoming paved the way for alumni to gather and reminisce about their time at the University and how Saint Louis University molded them to become integral members of the community. Through the passion and dedication of the first set of officers of the revitalized Alumni Association, funds for the education of promising Louisians in dire need of financial assistance were successfully raised.
Regarding infrastructure, the newly renovated Guest House was at the forefront of the various projects. The Guest House opened its doors to extend experiential and hands-on learning to HTM students, allowing them to have a place where their skills are enhanced. It also allows these students to showcase these skills. Aside from a practical and skills center, the Guest House can also give exceptional comfort, safety, and security to visitors and watchers of patients of the SLU-SHMC.
The newly built Fr. Paul Van Parijs Event Center, inaugurated in May, serves as our venue for the Flag Raising Ceremony every Monday. The Event Center allows us to convene and celebrate events in an open space.
The completion of the renovation of the Center for Culture and the Arts (CCA) will be in time for the opening of the new academic year. Come August, SLU shall inaugurate it as the SLU’s Fr. Joseph Van den Daelen, CICM Center for Culture and the Arts Theater.
There is also an ongoing rehabilitation of our campus walkways to provide more shade and comfort to the Louisian community.
Presidential Certificate of Appreciation
The Presidential Certificate of Appreciation was given to 36 pioneer members of the Institutional Reputations and Effectiveness (IRE) Committee that worked in achieving success during the university’s application for the 2023 World University Rankings for Innovation (WURI), 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, and the 2023 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Stars and Ratings.
Gawad San Luis for Employees
After the President’s Report, the awarding ceremony began with the concluded Family Welfare Program awardees. After this, the Gawad San Luis for Employees commenced, recognizing employees’ excellence in different categories.
Academic Achievement Award
Eight teaching employees obtained their respective doctorate degrees: Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Doctor of Information Technology, Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Theology, Doctor of Philosophy Major in Political Science, Doctor of Engineering – Research Track, and Doctor of Philosophy in Language Education.
Two employees were conferred the status of Fellow in Occupational Medicine and Diplomate in Pediatrics, respectively.
Seven non-teaching employees obtained a master’s degree in their respective discipline including Master in Public Health, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Psychology, and Master of Laws (Political Law Track).
Eleven teaching employees obtained their Master’s Degrees: four from BEDS, three from SONAHBS, two from STELA, one from SOL, and one from SEA.
Presidential Award for Professional Excellence
Two employees were awarded the Presidential Award for Professional Excellence: Dr. Joselito C. Gutierriez for the 2022 Catholic School Heroes Award during the 2022 CEAP National Convention in October 2022; and Ar. Arven B. Lac-amen, for being awarded as Outstanding District Director during the United Architects of the Philippines National Convention in April 2023.
Professional Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation
During the academic year 2022-2023, 41 employees published their research in esteemed national and international journals and publications: 17 from SAS, 12 from STELA, six from SAMCIS, two from SONAHBS, and one each from SOM, SEA, SOL, and SAMCIS/SAS, respectively.
Special Institutional Award
The School of Law was awarded the Special Institutional Award for receiving the Clinical Legal Education Program (CLEP) Community Advocate Award for its outstanding contribution and unwavering dedication to serving the community and ensuring access to justice for the greatest number of people given during the Philippine CLE Summit on 02 December 2022.
The Department of Nursing of the School of Nursing, Allied Health and Biological Sciences was also cited for ranking FIRST nationwide, with a 100% passing rate, in the November 2022 Nursing Licensure Examination by the Professional Regulation Commission.