RECTOR Magnificus Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. will end his third term this month, but a fourth term is a possibility.
The University’s 95th rector, however, said that he would rather prefer the life of a simple Dominican after his term. But it all depends on “God’s will,” he said.
“After my term, I just want to concentrate as a Dominican priest— teaching, writing, and studying,” De la Rosa told the Varsitarian. “After my [second] term as Rector in 1998, I decided na ayaw ko na, pero kung saan-saan din ako napunta,” he said. “Buti na lang at nakayanan ko naman.”
The Rector served two terms from 1990 to 1998. He came back for a third term in 2007, replacing then rector Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P., following an intra-order dispute over the redevelopment of UST Hospital.
De la Rosa was named as rector of Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba in 2003 and became chairman of the Commission on Higher Education from 2004 to 2005.
According to the General Statutes—which serve as the University’s constitution—the Rector shall be a member of the Order of the Preachers and a holder of a doctoral degree. Rectors usually serve two terms.
De la Rosa holds a doctorate degree in Philosophy in Higher Religious Studies, with its ecclesiastical equivalent, Doctor of Sacred Theology. He is qualified for re-election if the statutes are to be followed.
De la Rosa decided to end his term two months earlier to give way to the process of electing the next Rector of the University.
“Masyadong mahaba ‘yung procedure ng pagpili ng Rector. Alangan naman magsisimula tayo [sa] next academic year [na] nanaka-hold lahat ‘yung offices,” De la Rosa said. “The election in Rome (Vatican City) takes at least two months.”
The list of nominees for rector has yet to be announced.
Article 10 of the General Statutes states that Dominican priests assigned to the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas in UST must nominate three bets for rectorship. The friars will place the names of their candidates in a ballot and the person who gets a majority of the vote, or one-half of the total number of priests plus one, acquires automatic nomination.
The same step is repeated until three names are chosen. If ever no one gets a majority vote after three nominations, they will choose the two names with highest number of votes as candidates. With all humility and obedience, the priests must accept their nominations.
After the prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines—who also serves as Vice Chancellor of the University—approves the three candidates, he presents the names to the Academic Senate, which is composed of the vice chancellor, the vice rectors, deans, and secretary general, for verification.
The vice chancellor then submits the names to the University’s Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by the Dominican Order.
The Master of the Dominican Order endorses the chosen candidate to the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries for final evaluation.
The whole process usually takes three to four months.
‘Pray and socialize’
De la Rosa said whoever will be the next head of UST should continue praying and socializing.
“UST is not only a teaching university, we are also a praying university,” he said.
The next Rector should also have faith in God and must trust the goodwill of Thomasians.
“He should rely more on community effort and not only on his personal plans,” De la Rosa said. Reden D. Madrid
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