AQUINAS University of Legazpi (AUL) has officially been renamed “UST Legazpi” following the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Sept. 12.
UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. earlier allowed the Dominican-run Aquinas University to use the name of the University, in December 2016, after securing the nod of the UST Council of Regents.
The Rector, however, said UST Legazpi will maintain fiscal and administrative independence from the Manila campus.
“UST Legaspi is an independent unit of the University although it will now share the name of UST,” Dagohoy told the Varsitarian in an interview last Sept. 8.
Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P, rector of UST Legazpi, said the renaming of Aquinas University is a “collaborative integration” with UST Manila aimed at improving the quality of education in the Bicol campus through bench-marking, curricular alignment and resource sharing.
“The collaboration will help AUL improve the quality of its education. [There will be] promotion and impetus to upgrade the level of quality of facilities and education,” Arceo, a former UST rector, said in a phone interview.
Marylou Castillo, SEC director, said UST Legazpi’s board of trustees and administrators, including Arceo, were retained.
“[The rector] is still the same. Only the name of the school was changed. The composition of the board [of trustees] remains the same until the expiration of their terms unless sooner or later changed,” Castillo said in an online interview with the Varsitarian.
Under the integration scheme, which coincides with UST Legazpi’s 70th founding anniversary, its pharmacy, medical technology and master’s programs in pharmacy and law will be supervised by UST Manila.
The University’s integration plan with other Dominican schools in the country and the construction of satellite campuses in Santa Rosa, Laguna and General Santos City in Mindanao were first announced by Dagohoy in his Rector’s Report in 2015.
This is part of a wider consolidation of schools run by the Dominican Order in the Philippines into two “traditions,” the UST tradition and the Letran tradition.
The integration of Letran campuses in Manila, Bataan and Laguna went ahead of the UST integration scheme.
In June, Angelicum College in Quezon City signed a memorandum of agreement with UST, renaming the school to “UST Angelicum” with Dagohoy as its Rector and chief executive officer.
Aquinas University was founded in 1948 as Legazpi Junior Colleges by Spanish philanthropist Buenaventura de Erquiaga. It was turned over to the Dominican Order on June 1, 1965.