FR. TAMERLANE LANA, O.P., the new rector of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, plans to expand the school’s graduate program, promote a research culture, and boost enrollment in the 387-year-old Dominican college, eventually elevating UST’s sister institution to university status.

But for now, the former UST rector said his priority is to improve Letran’s sagging enrol lment, particularly in elementary and high school, calling it a “fight for survival.”

With more students, Lana also intends to solve Letran’s financial woes brought about by the newly established Letran campus in Abucay, Bataan.

“I believe poverty is the main reason why most parents opt to enroll their children in public schools. That’s why I will engage in an aggressive marketing strategy for both Letran Intramuros and Bataan,” he said. “Another problem of Letran today is the financial situation in Bataan wherein a big amount of money was invested. Gradually, we will recover these expenses by strategic marketing.”

Lana took over as Letran’s 80th rector and president in a solemn investiture last June 15 at the school’s Student Center Auditorium.

He was appointed to a four-year term by the Letran Board of Trustees over two other nominees for the position, namely Fr. Edwin Lao, O.P. and Fr. Napoleon Encarnacion, O.P. Lana replaced Lao, who was named rector of Letran-Bataan.

Lana, a two-term UST rector, said his approach in Letran will be different.

“I think Letran is more manageable because it is a smaller community compared to UST,” Lana told the Varsitarian.

Lana wants Level III accreditation for at least four programs in Letran’s Graduate School.

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Wicks and waxes

“I will establish a research culture by encouraging the faculty to write on the journal that I am going to publish,” Lana said.

As UST rector from 1998 to 2006, Lana spearheaded the establishment of the Alfredo M. Velayo-UST College of Accountancy, raising funds for the college’s new building and parking building, and the Tan Yan Kee Student Center. He also led the University’s expansion in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and General Santos City in Mindanao.

UST Rector Fr. Arnesto Arceo, O.P. told the Varsitarian that Lana’s two-term experience as rector of UST may have given him an edge over the other nominees for the rectorship of Letran in Intramuros.

“Fr. Lana did well as a rector of the University, so there is no doubt he can do it again,” Arceo said.

Ten years before to his UST rectorship, Lana served as rector of Letran–Calamba from 1984 to 1985. Lana was a visiting fellow in Georgetown University’s bioethics program in 1994, after which he enrolled in the bioethics program of St. Louis University in Missouri.

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