UTALCA: MODEL OF AUTONOMY, EXCELLENCE AND TERRITORIAL LEGITIMACY
"WE CELEBRATE THREE AND A HALF DECADES OF WORK WITH THE FEELING OF A JOB WELL DONE", EMPHASIZED PRESIDENT ALVARO ROJAS.
October 28, 2016
Rescuing the milestones that have allowed the University of Talca to become an institution recognized for its excellence, both in Chile and abroad, was the axis around which took place the ceremony celebrateing our corporation’s 35 years of existence.
The activity, held at the Great Hall of the Bicentennial building, was chaired by President Alvaro Rojas, and counted with the presence of the President of the "Decentralized, Developed Chile Foundation ", Heinrich Von Baer; the governors of Talca, Curico and Linares, Oscar Vega, Cristina Bravo and Claudia Aravena, respectively; and the Seremi of education, Rigoberto Espinoza, among other regional and institutional authorities.
Special guest of the day was Sergio Boisier, who was distinguished with the Medal of Merit Abate Juan Ignacio Molina that our Corporation awarded him for his outstanding academic career and remarkable contribution to the economy, the social sciences and regional development.
In the opportunity, President Alvaro Rojas said that what is celebrated in this date are 35 years of progress and consistent work.
"We celebrate three and a half decades of life with the feeling of a job well done, with a solid national and international recognition. The University of Talca is positioned today as the third most important state university, right after the other two located in the Capital city, in all of the indicators open to review," he said.
He added that "in the noble task of building a model of state university we can say that we have not failed to those who make our work possible. The public higher education institutions of the country can find in our University a good example of autonomy, excellence and, above all, territorial legitimacy".
Together with celebrating these advances, Rojas said they must also be conjugated as "Looking to the future".
"In the XXI century we have absolute awareness that the university institution faces - once again - the complex structural change in society and the global economy, begun nearly three decades ago, and that develops with an unpredictable dynamics of technological change and progress of the sciences. We are also aware that the national society exhibits an enormous dynamic and it demand changes and adjustments", he stressed.
"Our response to them should always be guided by the principles of excellence and humanism, either in the transcendental linking to our community, particularly in the issues of culture, or in the field of social and technological innovation, or in any other dimension", he remarked.
During his speech, President Rojas said "it is also a suitable occasion to pay tribute to all those who collaborated in the purpose of creating a university institution in central Chile. We can point out that their spirit still blows in our cloisters," he said.
After this reflection, the Authority noted that the UTALCA was not built solely on the basis of the "force of reasoning".
"It has been involved much more in proposing great goals, dreaming of a great future for our institution. This is because it is in dreams where we understand as public view of higher education, which requires us, in addition, the establishment of an educational ideal that goes away from the professionalizing and utilitarian trend that so strongly has been installed," he said.
By the foregoing, he added that since the beginnings the Corporation assumed the task of generating a global citizen, able to understand properly the great issues of his profession and the challenges facing contemporary society. "Together with worrying about the training of our students, we have been able, in these years, to strengthen the 'contributor' role to the development that university education has", he said.
"This requires necessarily promote a discussion high of regional issues and national, examine the linkages and relationships of our country with the international political and economic system, to the commitment that we must deploy by further refine our democratic State, to make strenuous efforts to keep the essential features of the national culture in times of globalization, to ensure the preservation of the environment and to improve the living conditions of all Chileans", he added.
In this context, the authority took to recalling the conditions and the environment in which the corporation took its first steps. "In its development it did not have the possibility to follow a model to emulate, it had to build its own paradigm to be original and valued", he evoked.
"Our challenge in these thirty and five years has been the need to take down the structures of University ideas that each one of us brought, so that in this way we could establish goals that will enable us to transform them into a true work", he said.
On that basis, he said that the challenge was to work in the construction of a university paradigm which contributes to recover the spirit of higher public training; of quality, prestigious, democratic, tolerant and advanced, "a space that invites the best, the leaders of tomorrow".
"A different paradigm, which puts the students in the focus of the corporate effort. This is where the creative energy of the academic work must concentrate and also, surely, the development and progress of the sciences, the arts and letters", he reflected.
"This is the only way to transform and inspire our students to be the great guides of the national and regional society of the future, able to build personal and social projects. Professionals who know how to combine in a balanced way rationality and feeling, because in this duality lies the ability of each one to interpret with originality the world that surrounds them. For young people to know what to expect in every moment, whenever individualism and materialism fight for their hearts, to assume with dignity both successes and failures," he said.
Excellence and Humanism
Following this reflection, the President stated that the ethical sense of the institution is not only expressed in the cultivation of excellence, but also in the actual practice of humanism, where criticism is the central foundation of creation and new knowledge.
"This is the spirit that repositions the university as a social institution, which has as its center the search for truth, the essence of humanism: excellence and humanism are the fundamental elements that allow to give to the educational process its true livelihood, because along with generating an adequate formative environment, it delivers a sufficient space for the human and spiritual growth of the whole university community," he said.
"Our University, along with trying to build a tradition and a language, assumes as its own the centenarian essence of a university being, sculpted in diverse and complex circumstances throughout the history of western civilization, which is to be a space where the global interest prevails over the specific one; a protected and safe space for free reflection, not subordinated to ideologies or dogmas; a place in which science develops independently from its immediate practical value; a space which is the self-critical reflection of society; a space for training and talent development independent of social status, ideology, race or gender", he commented.
The review made by President Rojas of the milestones that marked the evolution of the UTALCA, was widely appreciated by the participants of the event.
"It is a really regional academic institution, it already has three campuses and it will continue to grow with the processes of educational reform. It has also grown from the drive of public education by creating the Department of Education in Linares and this makes us trust that the University is our main ally in making education a social right as we expect it from the government," said the Seremi of education, Rigoberto Espinoza.
The governor of Talca stressed the emotional character of the ceremony. "35 years of a university that has been a fundamental pillar in the development of our region and to explore its history, is to follow the history of the Maule Region, which has evolved and grown to the heights of the 21st century demands and this process has been intimately linked to the development of the UTALCA. For us, as authorities, it is a great pride," said Oscar Vega.
The Maule Region businessman Jorge Balduzzi emphasized that our Academic Institution has been a development engine of for the region.
"To be in fifth place at the national level means that the University contributes to progress and that it is something concrete in terms of the decentralization that the country so needs. That speaks well of its authorities, officials and academics who are totally committed. It is a pleasure to be in the university, you breathe an air of respect, fairness and transparency," he said.
At the same time, the Governor of Curico, Cristina Bravo, said that the contribution of the UTALCA goes beyond providing education of excellence. "It is a contribution to the construction of the province and the Maule Region. It has become the most important one in the regions of the country, because of the contribution made by its professionals, for the productive, economic and social development of the Maule," she said.
For his part, Fernando Coloma, member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation, stressed that the ceremony allowed showing the good standing the university is in.
"The University was looked into, to see what its development has meant for the region and the country, the contribution it has made in the number of students who have graduated from it, among other things, its contribution to the development of our community," he said.