SARAH RAYMUNDO is an Assistant Professor from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman's Department of Sociology, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. She's been teaching in UP for ten years. She has met, and even exceeded, the minimum requirements for tenure. Why then, after a year since she applied for tenure, is Prof. Raymundo being denied permanent status in the university?

Sarah is the Secretary-General of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), Treasurer of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Council, and an active member of the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU).

Monday, December 14, 2009

US-based Academic Scholars' Dec. 2 Letter to Pres. Roman

Read the letter in PDF: US-based Academic Scholars' Dec. 2 Letter to Pres. Roman

2 December 2009

Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman


University of the Philippines

Diliman, Quezon City


Dear Dr. Roman:

As academic scholars in the U.S. with long-lasting commitments to the Philippines and important connections to the University of the Philippines in particular, we write to urge a redress and reversal of the denial of tenure to one of your most exemplary faculty members, Sarah Raymundo. We feel there has been an egregious breach in the integrity of the tenure process and in the principles of academic freedom that our international scholarly community upholds and vigorously defends. Moreover, as a result of this breach, we feel the University of the Philippines has done a grave injustice to an outstanding scholar, teacher and public intellectual, standing to lose one of its most valuable young faculty and setting an alarming precedent that is sure to erode the ideals, quality and principled practices of higher education.

Along with our colleagues in the Philippines, we were appalled and dismayed to hear of U.P. Diliman Chancellor Cao’s decision to overturn the original recommendations for Sarah Raymundo’s tenure made by, respectively, the Sociology Department, the College Executive Board and the Academic Personnel and Fellowship Committee. We have reviewed the documents in Professor Raymundo’s case and find the irregularities in the tenure review process to be insupportable. It is clear from the paper trail that while Professor Raymundo’s excellent academic accomplishments have been recognized at all the above institutional levels as meritorious and deserving of tenure, she has been punitively judged, in the most unilateral and arbitrary fashion at the behest of a red-baiting minority bloc, for her radical political commitments and involvements. We find this egregious violation of the codes of academic integrity and freedom and dismissal of scholarly achievement in favor of political ideology to be a huge mar on the University of the Philippines’ well-known and longstanding record of commitment to the principles of intellectual freedom and justice.

Many of us are familiar with Professor Raymundo’s brilliant scholarly writings on Filipino popular culture in the context of the global economy, Philippine national politics and social movements. We have been impressed by and learned enormously from her astute and illuminating sociological analyses of the conditions of lived life in the Philippines, the insights of which have been honed precisely through her long-time activist involvement and experiences substantiated through more formal research and study. Indeed, in our estimation, Professor Raymundo’s activist work in the areas of human rights and global social struggles is undoubtedly both a key source and form of expression of her research and theoretical approach, and as such should also be understood as a significant intellectual and professional contribution in its own right.

Professor Raymundo’s combination of theoretical erudition (her fluency in sociological theory, critical social theory, as well as cultural studies) and empirical knowledge is an inspiring example to all of us, as it has been an invaluable instruction to the many students who have had the privilege of taking her classes. In addition to her achievements as a scholar and a teacher, Professor Raymundo has also been an exemplary colleague in the international academic community. She has not only been an active participant in international conferences but has also been central to the vital intellectual exchanges between students and scholars in the U.S. and in the Philippines, arranging talks and seminars at the University of the Philippines that have brought U.S. academics in important dialogue with our colleagues and with students at U.P. as well as at other universities in the Philippines. We cannot overemphasize the importance of Professor Raymundo in fostering these intellectual exchanges, in which many of us first came to know and appreciate her brilliance as a scholar of Philippine society and culture.

We can say with confidence that Professor Raymundo’s scholarly contributions to the interdisciplinary fields of Global Studies, Philippine studies, and Cultural Studies as well as Sociology, her strong teaching record, and her exceptional record of service to the intellectual community at large are well beyond the requirements for tenure. It is our hope that you will redress the grave injustice of the arbitrary denial of her tenure. Along with our colleagues in the Philippines and at the University of the Philippines, we understand the importance of her intellectual work to the critical work we undertake in multiple fields and urge you, as the President of this prestigious university, to recognize the broad respect she has gained as a scholar, teacher and public intellectual and to grant her the tenured position that she greatly deserves.

Sincerely Yours,

Delia D. Aguilar

Women's Studies Program

University of Connecticut

Christine Bacareza Balance

Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies

University of California, Irvine

Nerissa S. Balce

Assistant Professor of Asian American Literature

Department of Asian and Asian American Studies

State University of New York at Stony Brook

Joi Barrios-Leblanc
Visiting Lecturer
University of California Berkeley

Jonathan Beller
Humanities and Media Studies and Critical and Visual Studies
Pratt Institute

Rick Bonus

Associate Professor of American Ethnic Studies

University of Washington

Tracy Lachica Buenavista
Assistant Professor
Department of Asian American Studies
California State University, Northridge

Lucy Burns
Assistant professor
Asian American Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Jeff Arellano Cabusao

Assistant Professor

Department of English and Cultural Studies

Bryant University

Peter Chua
Associate Professor of Sociology
San Jose State University

Valerie Francisco
Doctoral Candidate
City University of New York, The Graduate Center

Maria Hwang
Graduate Student
American Civilization
Brown University

David H. Kim, Chair

Philosophy Department

University of San Francisco,CA

Anne E. Lacsamana

Assistant Professor

Women's Studies Department

Hamilton College

Allan Lumba
Doctoral Student
Department of History
University of Washington, Seattle

Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo

Professor and Coordinator

Filipino and Philippine Literature Program, IPLL,

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Martin F. Manalansan IV

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Nerve Macaspac
MA in Asian Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Paul Nadal

Graduate Student, Rhetoric

University of California, Berkeley

Claire Oliveros
Coordinator, Multicultural Center
Portland Community College

Lorenzo Perillo
Doctoral Student
World Arts and Cultures
University of California Los Angeles

Roland Remenyi

Doctoral Candidate, Pharmacology
University of California, Los Angeles

E. San Juan
Fellow W.E.B. Du Bois Institute
Harvard University

Suzanne Schmidt
Doctoral Student
Department of English
University of Washington

Sarita Echavez See

Associate Professor

Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies

Program in American Culture & Department of English
Pacharee Sudhinaraset
Doctoral Student
Department of English
University of Washington

Neferti Tadiar

Professor and Chair of Women’s Studies, Barnard College
Director, Center for Critical Analysis of Social Difference,
Columbia University

Thea Quiray Tagle
Doctoral Student
Dept of Ethnic Studies, University of California San Diego

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Asian American Studies

San Francisco State University

Rowena M. Tomaneng

Interim Dean

Language Arts Division

De Anza College, CA
Michael Viola
Doctoral Student
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Bryan Zadie
Doctoral Student
Comparative Literature
University of California, Riverside

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