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Words in Anniversary 43 ° of the INTEC

Dear friends, Dear friends

As all adults know, time flies by, and as someone who does not want it, this is already the fifth time that I have the honor to address you in the framework of our anniversary. It is a task that I always carry out with equal enthusiasm, aware that it is perhaps the only time when it brings together a complete representation of the international community - from the longest-serving employee to the most recent employee, from the already mature graduate. to the adolescent student, from the most renowned teacher to the humblest worker. For that same reason, I see this meeting as an ideal space to present the work done and the pending challenges, as a form of accountability to you and to society.

I have the feeling that the months we have traveled / from the last breakfast to today / have been especially intense. To start with an obvious aspect, I will first refer to the significant advances in our infrastructure plan, with the almost complete completion of the Health Sciences building and the start of a Postgraduate building that will be ready in a few months . But while that is the most visible, because it is seen with the eyes of the face, the most notable advances are in another order. During the last months, for example, the Engineering area obtained the accreditation of three additional programs with a regional accrediting agency and began the process for the accreditation of all its programs with the most prestigious accrediting agency worldwide; The Business area is already in the last stage of a process that will surely conclude with the accreditation of all its programs in a few months by a world-class US agency; and the Health Sciences area recently started a similar accreditation process that we hope will pass with equal success.

The dynamism of the other areas has not been left behind. The area of ​​Social Sciences and Humanities has been developing a set of educational innovation projects that will certainly have a transformative impact on the pre-university education system of our country, and its research centers in various areas have been consolidated as first-class instances. order in the social debate and in the transfer of academic reflections to society. And finally, I must highlight that the area of ​​Basic and Environmental Sciences recently submitted two doctoral programs for approval, thanks to which our university will become the first Dominican university to launch its own doctoral program in the area of ​​science and technology. .

On the other hand, I want to remember that a year ago, in this same scenario, I said before you that everything seemed to indicate that 2015 would end up being one of the most productive in recent times in terms of research. Now, twelve months later, let me express that reality has proved me right. During this year, the participation of our researchers in international events, the amount of their research and the amount of their publications has reached unprecedented levels. It is not by chance that the research proposals submitted by INTEC to FONDOCYT generated financing of more than 50 million pesos, thus exceeding the volume achieved in any other year since the creation of this mechanism to promote research. In recognition of these achievements of our researchers, this year INTEC established the Outstanding Investigator Award, which this time went to one of our most deserving teachers. This parallels the Outstanding Teachers Award, which this year recognized the highest performing teachers based on verifiable criteria. As a side note, and without this constituting a lack of modesty, I would like to mention that the speaker was proud to be among the recognized professors of the Business area.

One of the most important areas of work in recent months has been the provision of services and consultancies, which is a way of putting the capabilities of the university at the service of society. In this regard, I would like to highlight a wide variety of studies carried out by our teachers, some of which received extensive media coverage, as was the case of the study on labor informality, which was released a few months ago, and what the case study on the electricity sector, which will be released next week, just to name a few.

As if all of the above were not enough, this year a process of curricular reform has been launched that, in my opinion, will have a memorable impact on this institution. This process is being conducted by various commissions, led by key executives and with the participation of a large mass of our community. This week the Academic Council made a first review of the entire path traveled and I can testify that something really impressive is being cooked. I take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this process.

All these things, and many others that I obviously cannot mention in this brief space, have been accompanied by substantive reforms in our organizational structure and leadership. In this sense, it is enough to mention two elements. On the one hand, the implementation of an organizational structure reform aimed at aligning our processes with the Institutional Strategic Plan, incorporating key instances that did not exist before and regrouping others that were previously dispersed. This initiative was based on the work of a high-level commission chaired by our former rector, Professor Altagracia Lopez, who worked for months and gave the Rectory a report of enormous value. And on the other hand, in the same order, I want to mention the leadership renewal process with the incorporation of new bees to the government bodies, as is the case of a new Academic Vice Chancellor, a new Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, and a new dean of Social Sciences and Humanities, among others.

Each of these cases has been developed in strict compliance with our regulations, which establish mechanisms that guarantee a continuous renewal of the management team as part of a healthy process of institutional vitality. At present, we are in the process of selecting a new dean or a new dean for the engineering area, and just yesterday there was a discussion panel where those who have expressed interest could share their ideas in a space of academic dialogue of the highest level. The most remarkable thing is that all these processes have been developed within a framework of normality and university civility, without fanfare and without inconveniences, beyond what is foreseeable in any process of change. It is therefore an appropriate time to publicly thank those who The functions previously assigned have been completed and that today they are contributing from other instances. Thanks to them and to them, the university has reached where it is, and we hope to continue counting on their contributions from other instances. That capacity for renewal is, in my opinion, the key to our institutional success and it makes us unique in our national context.

And with regard to uniqueness, I want to highlight that INTEC has become the first higher education institution in the Dominican Republic that implements a coexistence policy strategy, establishing instruments such as the policy against sexual harassment and the policy for management of conflicts of interest. In a similar vein, the work of various commissions that have been involved in the elaboration or review of several key policies, such as research, virtualization, sustainability, extension and linkage, internationalization and communication, is currently concluding, all of which will create firm foundations for a more modern operation of our university.

As you can imagine, all of this has required a gigantic effort from many people. I can attest that each intecian bee has worked in an intense way and has contributed a drop of honey that has been indispensable. Thank you all from the heart. The fruits of that work are noticeable and appreciated by our society. Time would be insufficient to describe all the effort and all the results that the collective effort of the hive has generated over the last few months.

However, I have an obligation to remember that we still have a lot of work to do. Among the tasks ahead in general terms are the strengthening of democratic life, by strengthening spaces for discussion and permanent dialogue such as area committees and assemblies; the continuation of the processes of incorporation of new talents to the executive bodies: the strengthening of the instruments to guarantee strict compliance with our regulations and to ensure accountability.

In the academic sphere, the curricular reform should generate new programs and significantly reform others. We will have to work on making the evolution of the programs more rigorous, at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, which must be something continuous and must generate visible results. Teacher development must continue to be a priority, with a view to achieving permanent growth of our teachers, who undoubtedly constitute an invaluable asset for our institution. In the management of people, the evaluation mechanisms must work for everyone (from the most humble collaborator to the Rector and the members of the Academic Council and the Board of Regents). In this hive there can be no one idle and the load must be distributed equally among all. For the same reason, we must continue to make progress to improve working conditions and remuneration, until we guarantee that, in a short time, we can say unequivocally and forcefully that INTEC is not only the best institution in academic terms, but also the best place of work throughout the Dominican higher education system.

In sum, I am convinced that this year will conclude what could be considered a stage of enabling and consolidating the strategic vision, and that from now on the achievements will be greater. I already look forward to the opportunity to meet again in this space, to share and rejoice together in the extraordinary achievements that INTEC will achieve in the next twelve months.

Thank you very much.