Sports complex in NOrSU Bayawan soon


In this second in a series of interviews with Dr. Joel P. Limson, president of Negros Oriental State University (NOrSU), we look into his thoughts, vision, and plans for the only state university in the province as the country gears for more challenges at the start of this national elections year and as NOrSU prepares for the opening of the second semester on Monday, February 14. Excerpts of the interview:

Negros Weekly (NW): What efforts have the university initiated in the last two years at the onset of the pandemic?

Dr. Limson: We have a response effort in the university which we call the NOrSU Cares Program. It is not just limited to the employees, but we go beyond even helping the community and the society. We believe that despite of the pandemic, people should be afforded with healthy food. We have distributed a lot of vegetable seedlings for people to plant in their backyards, as well as a lot of native chickens, hybrid chickens which they could tend to produce meat and eggs. That was done by our agricultural campus. From our Research, Extension, and International Linkages Office, we have manufactured a considerable number of face masks. I think there was some shortage of face masks before. We produced face masks and face shields using our 3D printer, which we have in our fabrication laboratory and it was very useful. We distributed these to the frontliners, especially to the community hospitals in the hinterlands and I personally delivered these. It was truly an experience reaching out to the people in the hinterlands doing medical services. We also went to Manjuyod, Basay, and other municipalities even if we do not have campuses there to somehow ease their burdens.

NW: How do you strike a balance insofar as programs and infrastructure are concerned?

Dr. Limson: All our academic programs are in place. We are conceptualizing a new program, but this is still for discussion and we hope to open it by next school year. Many of our external campuses have enjoyed a lot of infrastructure projects. Some people may ask why there are a lot of buildings in the external campuses. And, I tell them, maybe you can still remember what I told you – “the strength of NOrSU is only as strong as the strength of our weakest campus.” This underscores our desire to also strengthen our external campuses. What use is the main campus if it is not able to assist or help improve the same program in the external campuses. We make sure that all campuses have their science and technology building, which should be equipped with state-of-the-art basic science laboratory facilities for physics, chemistry, biology. All campuses will have their own beautiful, spacious administration and management centers to effectively oversee the entire campus and link with external campuses. All campuses will have their own library to sustain the requirements of all programs in their specific campus. These are the basic infrastructure we are having for each of our campuses, and all these are ongoing. Hopefully, by this year or early next year, all these will be in place.

I am excited about an upcoming project, the NOrSU Bayawan and Sta. Catalina Sports Complex, which is of ASEAN standards. This is going to be one of the most beautiful sports complex outside of Dumaguete. Since this is of ASEAN standards, we would be able to host national and international sports events and bring athletes to Negros Oriental. It will surely change the landscape of Bayawan, Sta. Catalina, and Basay area.

The schedule is for it to be finished by 2023, but the contractors are doing a lot of overtime work, so hopefully, by the end of 2022, it will already be in good shape. Some fixtures will be placed for it to be really functional. The location is going to be in Bayawan, inside our campus. This is a joint project of NOrSU and the City of Bayawan.

NW: Of the numerous course offerings you have, what are the more popular ones or those with high enrolment?

Dr. Limson: One is the College of Criminology and Justice Education, there is also the College of Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy, and the College of Education. This is understandable because of the competitive salary rates of police officers and law enforcers, as well as that of public school teachers. One of our priorities is to provide them with a good facility, thus, we are coming up with a beautiful College of Justice Education building in all campuses. We are constructing a state-of-the-art indoor firing range. We have an outdoor firing range in Bayawan campus. We held the first President’s Cup shooting competition in February last year. – NWI (to be continued)