“I find myself wondering as well if UST knows about honoris causa degrees because those are easy to throw around and no one would complain.”
(Manila) The University of the Santo Tomas marked the end of its quadricentennial celebration last week by granting doctorates to random persons who were present at the festivities finale. A total of 400 doctorates were conferred with degrees ranging from archaeology to economics.
The university also saw it fit to reassert its academic autonomy in granting graduate degrees in a written statement to the press.
“The University of Santo Tomas has every right to waive certain requirements when it comes to granting graduate degrees as was the case with Chief Justice Corona. It also has the right to waive any respect the academic community might have for its doctorate programs.” the written statement said.
Earlier this month UST found itself having to defend its decision to grant a doctorate in civil law to Renato Corona last year after it was revealed that the chief justice failed to meet a couple of requirements for the degree.
Critics of the university’s decision to ignore its own standards for granting degrees were quick to point out that the public lecture cited by the university as being equivalent to a dissertation was not the same.
“I find myself wondering if UST knows what a dissertation is.” Professor Roberto Galamay of Manila Institute of Technology (MIT) said in an interview with The Maligno Sentinel. “I find myself wondering as well if UST knows about honoris causa degrees because those are easy to throw around and no one would complain.”
Professor Pedro Abrigo of the Philippine National State University of the Philippines (PNSUP) was quick to point out that the academic community has its own rights as well:
“It’s true that UST may have the right to waive requirements for granting doctorates to people… fortunately we have the right to waive our respect for its doctorates as well.” Abrigo said.