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Words in Anniversary 40 ° of the INTEC

Once again, we have the pleasure of gathering as a great family to celebrate the anniversary of our institution. On this occasion, the celebration has the strength of maturity, because forty years is undoubtedly a respectable age for any entity in our environment. I appreciate the presence of some of our founders, members of the Board of Regents, past presidents, professors, contributors and students, whose presence is a demonstration of commitment to the university.

I will resist the temptation to tell the story of INTEC's birth, because it has been told many times by the voices of those who were witnesses or prominent actors in those early moments. But it is inevitable to refer to the merit of our founders, who achieved the miracle of creating from nothing. On behalf of each and everyone, I pay tribute to those transforming spirits who conceived, and then nurtured, this institution with such dedication and care with which a child is cared for.

In reality, this institution was not supposed to survive. If you think about the way it was born, in the precariousness and adversity of those times, this institution was destined to be one of the dreams that are born and then disappear before the blow of a hostile reality. In the best of cases, this institution was destined to be one of those projects that arise full of illusions of greatness, but that in the fight for survival are adapting to the common, until they become simply one more.

However, INTEC not only survived, but continually improved. At the age of ten, a past rector argued that "the greatest achievement is to have gone from being an idea in the imagination of a few and an aspiration in that of many, to being a concrete reality in Dominican society." And on turning twenty-five years old, a commentator correctly indicated that “INTEC has no turning back, other than to pay a well-deserved tribute to the men and women who made possible through tenacious efforts, passionate dedication and devoted zeal ”. And now, in its XNUMXth birthday, INTEC is described by a newspaper as an "example of excellence."

Of course, my obligation as Rector is to continually emphasize that the mission of this institution has not yet been completed, because today, as much as yesterday, Dominican society requires some model that will serve as a reference in the educational aspect and in the moral sphere. . INTEC's obligation is to find a way to continue fulfilling this function, in a substantially different environment than the one it faced in its early years. On the educational offer side, where previously there were four university institutions, now more than 40 entities of very diverse profiles operate, which offers us wide possibilities for cooperation, but also tests our leadership capacity. In addition, there is a clear trend towards the transformation of an exclusively face-to-face university offer to a largely virtual offer, which often originates from institutions in other countries.

On the demand side, a sustained increase in university enrollment is observed, together with a deterioration in the academic quality of applicants. Where before there was a predominantly rural society, there is today an urban society, with a middle class with very own aspirations and values, in which a lower valuation of collective projects and a greater valuation of individuality predominate. Many young people in this middle class have been exposed to global standards of quality and can decide between local universities and universities in other parts of the world. And within INTEC, what was previously a compact group of more or less similar friends, today has become a heterogeneous group of contributors who do not always identify with the idiosyncrasy of our institution, and many of whom see INTEC as one more institution to have a job.

The answer to this scenario cannot appeal to the same schemes that we used forty, or thirty or twenty years ago. Anchoring ourselves in the past, or declaring ourselves prisoners in a prison of nostalgia, is a denial of the spirit of innovation that defines this institution and is an invitation to the loss of our pre-eminence. We must avoid at all costs that our institution runs the fate of Lot's wife, whose inability to look forward ended up turning her into a statue. On the contrary, the challenge is to maintain the spirit that characterizes us, but to adapt it to new circumstances that require novel responses.

That is precisely the sense of the Strategic Plan in which we are working, with the intention of identifying the vital lines for the next five years. Although that process is still underway, I think it is easy to glimpse some elements that have emerged from the rich discussion. In the coming years, the search for academic excellence must continue to be our mark of distinction, both in the form of teaching and research. The organization must strengthen its international orientation, through increasingly intense and diverse interactions with foreign entities.

We have to remain the most attractive institution for the best students, which requires three things. First, to strengthen the teaching capacity and the true recognition, not on paper, that students are the center of our work. Second, improve the quality of our administrative processes, with a view to improving the services we provide to the academic community. Third, the institution will have to find a way to finance a significant investment in physical and technological infrastructure. For that last end, resources are required, so we will have to maintain strict financial discipline. And finally, the greatest challenge is the attraction and retention of human resources, since we can only be the best institution if we attract and retain the best, which is to say, among other things, the most responsible, the most innovative, the the most creative and the most capable of responding to change, provided they are committed to our invariable values.

The task of the new leadership is to inspire the international community to move in that direction. Happily, we are succeeding. Thank you very much.