April 13, 2008

A "Concerned Alumnus" Speaks

A few days back, Prof. Ricky Lim, Associate Dean of AIM's W. SyCip Graduate School of Business, answered burning questions from this blog readers in an open Q & A session. His replies were able allay some of the concerns of a good number of people, which delved on placement and education quality. Judging from the people's comments on that post, people were satisfied with the reply.

Except one person.

I received a comment on the post about Prof. Lim's replies from a person who posted under the handle "Concerned Alumnus." His comment was very provocative that I have decide to devote a post on his comment alone. I shall present his thoughts in verbatim:

I believe in AIM. I have faculty friends, past and existing. I have student friends, past and existing. I keep in touch with them. Because I believe in AIM.

I have a lot of questions. I am looking in from the outside. There is lack of official information. I will just make do with what I have and make my questions as factual as possible.

Here you go, Professor Lim:

1. Prestigious accreditations carry a hefty price. Given the various accreditations that AIM has, it is obvious that a slight tuition increase would have been imposed. Since AIM has lost EQUIS (I hear their logo will not be on the new diplomas and transcripts), will the current students be given a refund? Will the incoming students be given a discount from their fees as well?

2. You said that the removal of the logos from the school's website was due to "style considerations." What exactly are "style considerations"?

3. Most of the questions from this Q&A session have come from your external "clients" (i.e. incoming students). When do you plan to speak to your internal "clients" (i.e. existing students)? I am under the impression that they have been clamoring for answers to a lot of concerns. I know that AIM has their money already but they are just as important as the ones coming in. Right?

4. I have been comparing my AIM experiences with those of my friends from the current and previous batches. Casual comparisons say that the 16-month program was not well thought and planned out. They are experiencing problems - scheduling, professors, no books, cheating incidents, transparency in grading, lack of student mentoring, etc. In short: low quality input = low quality output, garbage in = garbage out. I am sad to admit to the current batch and the incoming ones, most of these concerns we had never experienced in our time.

So when you say that the current December 2008 batch agrees with you on the terms of maintained quality, did you put out a survey for them or even ask for a show of hands? Because that is not the feedback I am hearing from some of them.

5. I heard that six students were taken out the current MBA program without prior notice of their "academic positions." And even more cuts are expected in the coming weeks. Since quality was not seemingly maintained and the concerns of the students have not been answered (see previous question), were you not being a bit harsh and unfair?

6. A newspaper article (http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business5_april4_2008) is questioning the qualifications of AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan. It says that she "lacks a doctoral degree for having failed to finish the required thesis," a requirement to become insitute dean. Is this true?

7. And lastly, will it ever be possible to separate politics from academics in AIM? Please refer to the following newsbits:

http://www.cocktales.com.ph/short-of-aim/
http://www.cocktales.com.ph/aim-for-more-firings/
http://www.cocktales.com.ph/aim-less-wonders/

It was a problem when I was there, I cannot believe that it is still a problem now. The infighting and the stubbornness will never end until both sides realize that AIM is an educational institution, first and foremost. Secondary to being a business and a source of income, being an educator is both a vocation and a calling.

Has AIM strayed from the path set by its founding fathers? Are we witnessing the slow death of an iconic Asian institution?


Readers should understand that this was not meant to put people or the school down. I just put forth issues and concerns that I think the institution should recognize, so that they can make the necessary corrections. If the school goes under, I and the others in its history who have invested their time and money and have benefited from an AIM education will also go down with it.

So for the AIM "powers that be": before it is too late, please do something for the sake of your past, present and future students, and for those individuals who have their names and their portraits emblazoned on AIM's hallowed halls.

Please do not let us down.


NOTE: Thanks to Regnard for giving us a forum to read, experience and discuss the AIM campus life from his able eyes. You may publish this into a separate entry, if you wish to do so. Good luck with your studies!
Wow. That comment packed a wallop. While I'm not sure if I would expect a reply from Prof. Lim or the school, one thing is certain: this issue is far from over.

1 comments:

Kumar said...

Thanks Regnard!