By GUIEN GARMA
“As your new Chancellor, I want to bring out the best in all of us.”
Thus said Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., the newly-installed ninth Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños in the turnover and oath-taking ceremony held on October 29 at the Makiling Botanic Gardens Pavilion.
“All of our objectives to make UPLB a globally competitive research University is not just … my vision or mission, but also yours,” Sanchez reminded the UPLB constituents.
He emphasized in his acceptance speech his platform of “unity in diversity,” adding that UPLB constituents should encourage each other, help one another, and uphold the principles of an ideal civil servant.
Sanchez also thanked his fomer colleagues at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development and its allied agencies; the Crop Science Cluster of the College of Agriculture; Upsilon Sigma Phi, his fraternity; and his family.
While thanking his family, the voice of the newly-installed Chancellor trembled. He then said, “Ang hirap pala nito!”
In a separate interview with [P] after the ceremony, Chancellor Sanchez said that he is happy and at the same time nervous about his new position in the University.
He also emphasized the importance of communicating and coordinating with the University constituents. “If there is a problem, let us talk about it. We shall arrive at an agreement, not a compromise,” he said in Filipino.
The turn-over ceremony was attended by Los Baños Mayor Ceasar Perez, former UP President Emil Q. Javier, and several National Scientists. Student Regent Neill John Macuha, Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez, and former Faculty Regent Nelia Gonzales also attended the said ceremony.
Support from President Pascual, former Chancellor Cruz
In his opening remarks, UP President Alfredo Pascual urged the UPLB community to work with Chancellor Sanchez towards making UP a world-class research university.
“We wish to assure all of UPLB’s constituents that the UP System and its officials will continue to support UPLB’s plans and initiatives towards [being] a globally competitive University,” he said.
For his part, outgoing Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz, who refused to call his remarks a farewell message, has assured Chancellor Sanchez and his team that he and his colleagues will be willing to help them.
He also thanked his Vice-Chancellors, college deans, and the faculty and staff, as he says “a lot of accomplishments are to their credit.”
“Seeing that we are able to exceed our own expectations, I believe we have laid the ground for empowering UPLB to take off and truly become a globally competitive national university,” he said.
In a separate interview with [P] after the ceremony, President Pascual agreed that UPLB’s starting ground to become a globally competitive University will be an advantage for Chancellor Sanchez.
Former Chancellor Cruz, meanwhile, told [P] after the ceremony that he will return to research and teaching. “I love interacting with students,” he said.
New Vice Chancellors
On the same ceremony, Chancellor Sanchez also announced his incoming vice-chancellors:
• Administration: Dr. Crisanto Dorado
• Academic Affairs: Dr. Portia Lapitan
• Community Affairs: Dr. Serlie Jamias
• Research and Extension: Prof. Rex Demafelis
• Planning and Development: Dr. Marish Madlangbayan
Only Dr. Dorado was retained from the former pool of vice-chancellors under former Chancellor Cruz.
In his speech, Sanchez reminded his Vice Chancellors to “do what is right and not abuse the authority given to us.” [P]
[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Faculty Regent Lourdes Abadingo was present during the ceremony. Student Regent Neill Macuha has told [P] that only he and Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez attended the ceremony; it was former faculty regent Nelia Gonzales attended the ceremony.]