ShortchangedBy Philip Dominguez Mercurio
During class, one of Master Kalanduyan’s students, John Kenney, couldn’t comprehend why ETHS 545 was being cut.
He kept asking, “Does it really cost that much to keep Master Kalanduyan here at San Francisco State?”
Now, let’s be fair. Schools all across California are facing budget cuts so everyone within the school system is struggling. But if you think about it: Would his departure really have an impact upon the entire university budget whereby upon his exit, the school will be cushioned from the red ink?
Well, I went out and asked and according to those who are in the know… it’s pretty much a NO.
“Master Kalanduyan is here at the lowest possible rank,” said fellow Professor Danilo T. Begonia. “He’s a lecturer. He is a temporary from semester to semester. And you pay whatever ‘Mickey Mouse’ money that a lecturer gets. It’s almost embarrassing really. I’m almost ashamed to reveal what he probably gets, because he’s teaching only one course.
He gets the equivalent of only one-fifth of a full time faculty member… so he’s not getting paid a whole lot of money.
“It is an expensive course because it’s an activity course,” said Professor Daniel P. Gonzales, “but in my opinion, I agree, Professor Kalanduyan was being sorely underpaid. He was being paid by special contract about 1/3 less than a normal lecturer or an assistant professor at a lower level would get paid. And his value is much greater than that.”
So there it is. We have a prestigious master, highly regarded among his fellow Filipinos and musicians getting pennies to the dollar and whose value, according to Mr. Gonzales “is much greater than that.” And how much greater in value is Master Kalanduyan? Well, you wouldn’t believe.
If you were to assess him in terms of the recognition and stature he has as a music master, you would realize how revered he is by many educational institutions all over the United States.
“Other universities would sell their grandmothers to just to have a man of his stature on their faculty as permanent faculty, as tenured faculty, as assistant professor,” said Mr. Begonia.
Assessing him in terms of his relations to international issues, you would realize he is building bridges between religious boundaries. Being a Muslim man while teaching mostly Christian students, his works are alleviating the tensions that continue to build between these two religious worlds.
“He’s teaching Christian students, students from the United States,” said Mr. Begonia. “How do you put a price tag on something like that? Where do you see the kinds of efforts he has made of being a goodwill ambassador via music and dance, representing the Muslim traditions of the Philippines?”
In terms of revenue, his assessment would reveal that he generates a good deal of cash for the university via the performances he has. Whether for school functions or for college groups such as PACE, the university would usually get cut form the revenue made by charging what Mr. Begonia referred to as “operating and handling expenses.”
And his performances aren’t just local. Mr. Kalanduyan in fact draws large crowds whether playing for fellow Filipinos, around the Bay Area or even across the United States.
“He recently just finished a couple of places,” said Mr. Begonia, “Hawaii, Alaska, Cincinnati, New Mexico… and everywhere he goes, it reads, “Master Danongan Kalanduyan, faculty, San Francisco State University, College of Ethnic Studies.” Where can you buy that kind of propaganda, publicity that gives you the kind of positive advertising that comes with him? So if you think about it, in some ways, he’s already paid back what he’s already paid.”
“So let’s not talk about this non-sense,” said Mr. Begonia, “about, “Well this guy is costing us money. We can’t afford it.” Well, if you lose the guy, then you lose the money he represents in terms of earning potential. His presence here brings not only students but dignitaries, master artist, from the Philippines who would realize, “San Francisco State is legit.
San Francisco State is interested. San Francisco State is committed. We will go to that university because if they have a guy like Master Kalanduyan in that university, well obviously this university is culturally diverse and culturally sensitive.”
“We are basically riding on his coattails in other words, and we’re about to snip ourselves right of the coattails; take the scissors and cut us right off. We’re just going to blow him off, as if he were another piano teacher, another drum player and trumpet player.
“What he offers is very unique, very, very special, and it’s something the university will not be able to recover from.” - PDM
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