Prof. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, Ph.D.
“I try my best to be ‘task- and technology-efficient’ but at the same time, ‘people-focused and culture-oriented,’ “ said Vice-President for Planning and Finance Lisa Grace S. Bersales, quoting F. Landa Jocano’s Management by Culture: Fine-Tuning Modern Management to Filipino Culture when asked about her management style in an interview with the UP Newsletter.
Books are said to have influenced her traits as an administrator. Aside from Jocano’s book, she cited The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and the most important for her, the Bible.
Bersales, a professor who has been with the UP Diliman (UPD) School of Statistics for almost 30 years, is counting on her administrative experience—both as former director for graduate studies and as former dean—as she takes on the bigger role of helping manage the UP System.
During her term as dean, she moved for the change of name from Statistical Center to the School of Statistics to properly reflect its status as a degree-granting unit. It was also at this time that the School transferred to its own building and was recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)—the only one in its field so far.
To get acquainted with the position she now holds, she met with former Vice-President for Planning and Finance Edgar Atanacio to “discuss the concerns of the office and the important activities [it] does on a regular basis.” Bersales also studied documents that traced the budgeting process being employed by the UP System.
Prior to assuming the post, she told the UP Newsletter that her first order of business was to report to UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and coordinate with the other members of the executive staff. Meeting with her team at the Office of the Vice-President for Planning and Finance (OVPPF) came next.
“Ensuring that the pace of work of the OVPPF continues smoothly and properly is the best start I can give [President Pascual].” She added that any project or plan the OVPPF will carry out is in support of the president’s programs—a huge part of which is coming up with much-needed finances to support UP’s activities, commensurate to its status as the National University.
Bersales earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Statistics from the University—finishing her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in 1978; her M.S. in 1981; and her Ph.D. in 1989.
She is a member of the UPD Oversight Committee on Admission. She also headed the UPD Committee to Review Graduate Tuition (2007-2008) and the UPD Cluster Curriculum Committee (2008). She was a member of the UPD Curriculum Committee (2001-2007) and the UPD Committee to Review Freshman Admission (2004).
Aside from her committee work in the University, Bersales was also involved in various government agency committees such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Committee in Mathematics (2008) and the Committee to Review the Philippine Statistical System (2007).
She has been a member of the Technical Committee on Poverty Statistics since January 2004 and chair/technical consultant of the Technical Committee and Technical Working Group to Oversee the Seasonal Adjustment for Philippine Time Series from January 1994 to April 1995 and from January 1997 to the present.
When she is not teaching or doing committee work, she undertakes various research projects. Her most recent researches are the Mid-Term Review of the Mindanao Rural Development Program 2 for the Department of Agriculture, the Evaluation of the Criteria for Minimum Wage Fixing: Some Empirical Evidences for the National Wages and Productivity Commission, the Basic Education Resources Survey for the Department of Education, the 2009 Consumer Finance Survey for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the 2009 Baseline Study on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors for the International Justice Mission, and different projects for United Laboratories.
Bersales, who hails from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, is the eldest child of Jose and Teresita Sotocinal. She is married to Jose Bersales, Jr. and they have three children (Jose Mikael, Jose Karlo and Adora Isabel).