WITH the installation of Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. as the 94th Rector of the University, several academic officials and heads of different colleges have expressed their hopes and expectations for his four-year term.

“He will be a great leader who will effectively lead UST toward its 400th year,” Fr. Hilario Singian, O.P. vice prior provincial of the Philippine Dominican Province, told the Varsitarian.

Vice Rector Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P. said Arceo would continue the University’s vision under his predecessor, Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P.

“The only ramification I can see is the relationship between the new rector and the academic officials, faculty members, and other employees since he has a different personality from Lana,” Ponce said.

Academic officials assigned to new positions count on a promising leadership for UST, too. Among them is Dr. Armando de Jesus, then Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, and now two-time dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters; and former Public and Alumni Affairs Office (PAAO) director Dr. Cristina Cabral, who now heads the Office for Student Affairs (OSA).

De Jesus, who is back to his old post, is happy for Arceo and UST.

“He is a very decisive person. He gets hold of important considerations before he finally makes a decision,” de Jesus said. “He is a man of mission with his feet well on the ground.”

After launching the Grand Alumni Homecoming last April during her term as PAAO director, Cabral is set to form Thomasians who will become loyal alumni in the future.

“When he reassigned me in OSA, Arceo stressed the importance of cultivating and nurturing loyalty to the institution as early as their elementary, high school, and college years in the University,” Cabral said.

Her pen and scepter

The University’s new and old deans from different colleges also expressed their expectations.

Dr. Ma. Graciela Gonzaga, who replaced Dr. Rolando Lopez as dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, expects the Rector to help maintain the Faculty as one of the best Medicine schools in the country.

“Since we are always reviewing our curriculum, we expect the new Rector to support our projects that would cater to the changes in the field of Medicine,” Gonzaga said.

As a farewell request, former dean Lopez asks Arceo to fully support the Faculty’s plan to be a center for research in Medicine among other universities.

For Assoc. Prof. Peter Lim, the newly-appointed dean of the Faculty of Engineering replacing Dr. Marilyn Mabini, Arceo would bring idealism and moral excellence to students.

“Since our Faculty’s centennial celebration is drawing near, I agree with Arceo that UST should reclaim its position in promoting higher values to its students,” Lim said.

Arceo is also asked to approve curricular revisions and to upgrade facilities of colleges and faculties.

“We would want the Rector to support us in our plan to put up a hotel in the University that would serve as training ground for our Tourism and Hotel and Restaurant Management students,” Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management director Ma. Cecilia Tio Cuison said. “Hopefully, our institute will soon have its own building with a ladderized curriculum.”

Dean Jose Ireneo of the UST Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy and Faculty of Pharmacy Dean Priscilla Torres also pinned their hopes on the new rector.

Campus press law challenged

“We ask that Fr. Arceo support us in our bid to computerize and automate our courses,” Ireneo said.

“It would help us fund our pilot researches on Alternative Medicine as they would be beneficial to many people,” Torres added.

The Conservatory of Music also brought up some problems to address, like the lack of classrooms and audio-visual room.

“A problem that I inherited is our lack of space since our population is quite bulging. Moreover, our students often practice along the corridors because classrooms are scarce,” Dean Raul Sunico said. “I wish Arceo would have a hands-on policy not just to us but other colleges as well.” With reports from Ivan Angelo T. de Lara


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