Dr. Baconguis as new CPAf Dean: Leading with PURPOSE

It is passion for learning that fuels her to continue teaching despite the challenges of the current times. And it is purpose that drives her to take the challenge of leading CPAf in this “new future.”

The 8th Dean of CPAf, Dr. Rowena DT. Baconguis, is committed to take on the role of a purpose-driven leader. Her 3-year appointment as Dean was approved on February 26, 2021 by the UP Board of Regents.

“As I was thinking about possible plans, I asked myself: ‘Why will I seek the deanship in the first place?’” Dr. Baconguis shared during the presentation of nominees’ plans on January 12, 2021.

Her answer came from the very question she asked herself – purpose. The word “purpose” gives her the keywords in which she aligned her plans for CPAf.

For Dr. Baconguis, the word stands for passion, university partnerships, robust systems, promoting innovation, organizational competence, service, and excellence.  As the current Dean of the College, “Leading with PURPOSE” is the theme of her leadership.

“The new future represents an unpredictable and problematic situation,” she said. “It is passion that will drive us to accomplish tasks and move forward.”

The pandemic, according to Dr. Baconguis, has opened opportunities for new university partnerships and other collaborative arrangements. “One hallmark of what I dream of is bringing in more international partners in instruction, research, and public service,” she added.  

Dr. Baconguis hopes to expand the established university partnerships for the upcoming international conference of CPAf to research and public service. Hiring of more faculty members, exploring off campus programs, and tapping the CPAf alumni in the delivery of courses are the other activities she mentioned.

With the demands of the new future, Dr. Baconguis emphasized the need for robust systems. She shared that her administration will encourage the reskilling of staff members, facilitate the continuous improvement of administrative processes, and ensure the maintenance of the CPAf building and premises.

To promote innovations, collective leadership will be enhanced through participatory planning and budgeting. Likewise, new softwares and technologies will be utilized for remote learning. 

For organizational competence, Dr. Baconguis recognized the need to develop a research framework and a college-wide extension program. She also noted the need to improve curricular programs and delivery using research outputs. A governance system that will improve organizational competence can also be explored, according to Dr. Baconguis. “I believe it is high time to review our one-college one-faculty setup,” she said. 

Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of creating a public service portfolio to diversify CPAf’s public service

Lastly, to achieve excellence during uncertain times, Dr. Baconguis plans to improve the sharing of ideas and experiences, promote a culture of mentoring, and enhance the working relationship among faculty and staff members. Banking on the main asset of the College – the CPAf constituents, Dr. Baconguis expresses her optimism that CPAf will be able to move forward in the “new future.”

Dr. Baconguis has been at CPAf since 2002. She is a professor at the Institute of Governance and Rural Development (IGRD) of CPAf, where she also served as Director from October 2014 to September 2017. She handles core courses of PhD Extension Education and Community Development, and core and specialization subjects of PhD Development Studies. She has also served as major and cognate adviser to numerous local and international students.

From the various research projects she had led, Dr. Baconguis has produced several publications on organizational knowledge management, rural development, technological innovations and adoption, volunteerism and development, and climate change.

The former Director of UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod (2010-2013), Dr. Baconguis also provides technical and advisory services to different government institutions and serves as plenary speaker for international and local conferences on issues such as governance and rural development, scholarship of engagement, research and extension continuum, the challenges to extension delivery system given the pandemic, and the fourth industrial revolution.

Dr. Baconguis has received various awards including the 2008 UPLB Outstanding Teacher (Humanities and Social Sciences category), UP Scientist I (2014-2016) and II (2017-2019), One UP Award, and the 2018 NRCP Achievement Awardee (Division 1: Governmental, Educational and International Policies), among others.

An alumna of CPAf, Dr. Baconguis earned her PhD in Extension Education degree with distinction in 2002. She was the recipient of the CPAf Academic Excellence Award for generating the highest general weighted average among CPAf graduates. Her academic achievements also earned her membership to international honor societies such as Pi Gammu Mu and Phi Kappa Phi. She is also a Distinguished Alumna of CPAf in 2012. Dr. Baconguis completed her AB Economics (1989), as cum laude and Most Outstanding Social Science graduate, and her Master of Public Administration (1998) at the Ateneo de Davao University.

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University Researcher at CPAf