(APR. 4)—Prof. Macrina A. Morados was affirmed as 8th dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) by Dr. Michael L. Tan, UP Diliman (UPD) chancellor on Mar. 30 in front of institute constituents, family and guests at the Salam Conference Hall at the Romulo Hall.
Her affirmation came more than two months after the UP Board of Regents approved her appointment at its 1313th meeting on Dec. 11 last year. Morados is the second woman to be appointed to the deanship, the first IIS being Dr. Carmen Abubakar. Morados serves a 3-year appointment which began on Jan. 1 this year until Dec. 31, 2018.
Morados finished a BA in Islamic Studies and Bachelor of Laws at the Mindanao State University in 1991 and 2001, respectively. She passed the Shariáh Bar Examinations in 2008 and in 2013, for the subjects Islamic Inheritance Law and Persons and Family Relations. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Philippine Studies major in Philippine Culture and Society at UPD.
“Accordingly, the success of any learning institution is measured by the achievements of its alumni. It is important to ask: what kind of graduates are we producing? …Some of our alumni have done great contributions to nation-building and are actively involved in various capacities as educators, peace advocates, holding executive positions in the government, successful businessmen, consultants, volunteers to both national and international non-governmental organization. The IIS has produced graduates who became achievers in their own field of expertise,” Morados said.
She also shared her plans for the institute which include the pursuit of curriculum development program, revival of the IIS journal, strengthening of IIS linkages and extension services, and the construction of a new building.
Curriculum development program. Morados said the institute is proposing changes in the IIS curriculum to make it responsive to the students’ needs and to keep pace with global trends and development. Particularly in the areas of banking and finance, Islamic Law and in the field of Halal.
“In the area of Islamic Law, it is high time for the IIS to offer a major in Shariáh. The increasing number of students is due to our existing courses that are related to Shari’ah bar subjects… Another promising field…is on Halal. There is a global demand for Halal products,” Morados said.
Recently, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos has identified IIS as its academic institutional partner. The Dean sees this as a gauge in the viability and marketability of courses related to Halal. As a long-term goal, Morados hopes to see IIS offering a PhD program five to seven years from now.
Revival of IIS Journal. The Dean also expressed concerns in reviving the institute’s Journal.
“The IIS has never been called to perform challenging roles in producing balanced and liberating knowledge than in today’s crucial time to combat the surging threat of radicalism and extremism. Islam is the most misconceived religion…here, our role in the academe is very apparent from writing the correct perspectives and the right contexts of these issues to producing knowledge that is balanced with truth and justice,” Morados said.
Strengthening linkages and extension services. The new dean underscored the IIS commitment to the UPD community and the general public of being responsive to the concerns and issues the nation faces today.
“This is an affirmation of our commitment to mainstream our extension services responsive to the concerns and vital issues we are facing these days. Our Interfaith program has gone a very long way in terms of collaborations both with our International and local partners. We aim to foster cultural understanding by promoting respect and tolerance among people of different faiths. Moreover, our faculty members are visible in community extension services, sharing their expertise,” she said.
New IIS building. Morados also touched on the need for a new building. “Indeed, the IIS is the face of Islam in the University and in Metro Manila and even in the entire country. The building that houses Islamic Studies is no longer in good condition,” Morados said.
At the affirmation rites, Morados introduced the members of her IIS executive committee: Dr. Jamel Cayamodin (College Secretary and Chair for the IIS Curriculum Development Program), Atty. Mehol K. Sadain (Chair for IIS Building Committee), Prof. Nefertari Arsad (Chair for Research and Publication) and Prof. Aisha Flores Malayang (Chair for Extension and External Linkages Committee).
Morados’s affirmation, Tan observed, is one of the more well-attended affirmations to date, with guests from the members of the diplomatic corps, deans of other UPD units, and members and former members of the national government including former senator Santanina Rasul.