UST Ends 400th Year Festivities; Awards 400 PhD’s to Random Attendees

“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.

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2 thoughts on “UST Ends 400th Year Festivities; Awards 400 PhD’s to Random Attendees

  1. I am a Thomasian so you probably know where I’m coming from. I am happy we are in a democracy, where a plurality of views thrives, and where a satire can be appreciated for its true worth. And we know that a satire is a symptom of a social ill or its value diminishes. It’s still amusing, but not so relevant. I don’t know so much about the author so my comment is simply my opinion. She can use her creative comic imagination better by tackling what may pass for social ills, unless she considers one imprudent decision of one college a social ill. Now on the piece itself, again it’s only my opinion, it seems to have been written by an outsider. The lack of visceral appeal and dwelling too much on generalities shows it. In more direct words: “Sorry! Para lang sa akin – kulang siya sa libog!” Knowing better your subject-matter would have improved the piece.

  2. ^ The intention is to provide a view from outside, actually. That’s why it used mock-journalism style in presenting its “opinion” (there’s the irony, if you care to understand it). It is obvious that the piece’s language attempts to situate it at an “objective” vantage point, but this language, the article’s tone and voice, are twisted and played around with in such a way to produce a particular effect. In short, it is a big joke, with a sting. Do not over-analyze it because jokes in the form of ridiculous news articles intended for pure mocking fun do not need “libog” to be effective. If I may add, if you think this is too much for your taste then just say you are offended by it.

    And also, our brand of democracy is not something to be happy about, you know. Read up.

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