Front row (L-R) Dr. Editha C. Cedicol (SEARCA), Dr. Sri Raharjo (UGM), Dr. Herry Suhardiyanto (IPB), Dr. Poonpipope Kasemsap (KU), Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz (UPLB), Dr. Hironobu Shiwachi (TUA), Dr. Bujang Kim Huat (UPM)
Back row (L-R) Dr. Tanaboon Sajjaanantakul, Dr. John Floros (Kansas State University), Dr. Bessie M. Burgos (SEARCA), Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr. (UPLB), Dr. Masyhuri (UGM), Dr. Edy Hartulistiyoso (IPB), Dr. Uthairat Na-Nakhon (KU), Dr. Oscar B. Zamora (UPLB), Dr. Junichi Nakagawa (TUA), Mr. Saiful Azlin B. Maskan (UPM), Dr. Somsakdi Tabtimthong (KU), Dr. Thongchai Suwonsichon (KU)
BANGKOK, Thailand — The Executive Board of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (University Consortium) met on 19-20 November 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. Kasetsart University (KU) hosted the 26th Executive Board Meeting, where 20 representatives from the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of the Philippines Los BaÃ±os (UPLB), Tokyo University of Agriculture (TUA), and SEARCA attended.
During the opening ceremonies, the signing of the memorandum of understanding on implementation of double and joint degree programs was forged by the members (see related story). The MOU shall serve as the reference for all future agreements between and among members willing to offer joint and/or double degree programs in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.
Following the signing of the MOU was a lecture from Dr. John Floros, Dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension at Kansas State University on the topic "Academic Leadership". In his lecture, Dr. Floros emphasized that training the next leader to succeed you a leader's responsibility. He said that in accepting the challenge to become a leader, one should be ready to become a role model and must be willing to embrace change.
During the meeting, the revised UC membership guidelines with the addition of affiliate member as a new membership category was approved. The proposal from UPLB for an International Master's Program in Biodiversity and Conservation was presented and mechanics of the joint program will be further discussed by the three participating universities, namely UPLB, IPB, and UPM.
Other activities approved for implementation in 2014 are student and faculty grants, ongoing project scholarships with TUA and UPM, information dissemination, as well as the creation of the UC website, and the Joint Certification Course towards a Master's Study Program in Sustainable Food Systems.
Dr. Poonpipope Kasemsap, Vice President for International Affairs chaired the meeting. Dr. Paul Teng,Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning, National Institute of Education of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and SEARCA Senior Fellow also attended the meeting to present the proposed Umbrella Program on Food Security.
The 27th UC Executive Board meeting will be held on the third week of November 2014 at the IPB, Indonesia back-to-back with a UC.
The annual meeting served as a platform to review the accomplishments of various member universities, as well as discuss various projects for implementation between and among UC members.
The UC was established in September 1989 through SEARCA's initiative as a response to the growing demand for graduate education across agricultural disciplines and related fields. UC's Executive Board is the policy-making body of the consortium. It is responsible for setting directions, developing new policies and programs, and generating resources to support and promote UC activities, which focus on promoting education and research collaboration among the UC members. (Jesselle S. Laranas and Editha C. Cedicol)