By Rachel Miranda
Incoming College of Mass Communication (CMC) dean Rolando Tolentino said Thursday that he will expand the college’s offered programs in the tradition of an “independent and liberal” education amid the “growing state control of media”.
The eighth CMC dean said he will strengthen the college’s diploma and online master’s degree in journalism, and the undergraduate offerings in new media; as well as the certificate course in film, and the doctorates in both communications, and media and cultures.
“It’s time to strengthen the liberal character of our programs, that the media is liberating and our graduates are agents of liberating thought and action,” Tolentino said during the formal turnover at the CMC auditorium.
However, the Film and Audiovisual Communications professor acknowledged that CMC’s resources — such as its buildings — should be improved for these plans to take place.
“First is the upgrading of our classrooms. Second is the supporting structures of a new auditorium, a permanent canteen, tambayan, offices and library services as well as media archives and groundwork for a third and final building at the media complex,” Tolentino said.
The renovation and upgrade of the second-floor classrooms in Plaridel Hall, funded by major dailies Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, has been ongoing since May.
Tolentino, a Philippine cinema, literature, and pop culture expert, promised to garner support from the faculty, staff and students to continue these projects.
He earned both his economics undergraduate degree and Philippine studies master’s degree at De La Salle University. Tolentino got his doctorate in film at the University of Southern California.
A member of the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP), Tolentino joked that there were benefits to being dean, such as a reserved parking space and a private bathroom in his office.
“I learned that there are more people I should smile at and greet while walking in the college. My friends and people who want to be my friend suddenly increased,” he added.
During the ceremony, outgoing dean Elena Pernia presented a tambuli, a native wind instrument made from carabao horns and the symbol for CMC, to Tolentino marking the beginning of his three-year term until 2011.
The event was the second turnover ceremony for the deanship in CMC. It started in 2006 when Nicanor Tiongson gave way to Pernia’s term as head of the college.
Representatives from different sectors within the college such as the faculty, administrative and Research, Extension and Professional staff, students, alumni and retired professors shared their messages for both the outgoing and incoming deans.
Also present were UP President Emerlinda Roman and other university officials.