THE VATICAN has yet to make a decision on who will be the next Rector of the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas for the next four years. Being the highest official of UST, the Pope has the authority to appoint the Rector of the University.

“Siyempre, hindi ako maaring makapagsabi (kung sino). We (administration officials) cannot divulge anything hanggang sa may dumating na confirmation from Rome,” Vice-Rector for Finance Fr. Roberto Pinto, O.P. told the Varsitarian.

The current Rector, Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O. P., is set to end his four-year term this year. He may be reappointed as rectors are usually accorded two terms.

According to the University Statutes, the Chancellor and the Master of the Dominican Order—substituted by the Vice-Chancellor of the University—shall appoint the Rector. The Vice-Chancellor is the Prior Provincial of the Dominicans of the Philippines, former Vice-Rector Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P.

The UST Rector’s selection follows a lengthy and tedious process.

All members of the Order of Preachers formally assigned to the St. Thomas Aquinas Priory were asked to nominate three candidates by secret ballot. The names were then presented to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

The Vice-Chancellor then presented the names in alphabetical order to the Academic Senate, that determined the order of its preference for the three nominees also by secret ballot. The Board of Trustees then endorsed the names of the three nominees with their observations and recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor.

With all the observations and recommendations from the Order of Preachers professors’ protocol of elections, the Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees, the Vice-Chancellor forwarded the names to the Chancellor who then submitted the final appointment for approval of the Holy See.

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Fr. Pinto said the performance of Fr. Lana was “so far, so good.” He said Fr. Lana laid down directions that provided “capital plannings” for the University’s quadricentennial.

“Maganda naman, very excellent kasi na-complete niya iyong mga programs that were planned. He improved tactical plans (which) were really his main agenda,” Fr. Pinto said.

Until the Rector is appointed, Vice-Rector Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P. serves as Acting Rector.

Meanwhile, Fr. Pinto still occupies the position of Vice-Rector for Finance under a hold-over capacity. His term expired last August.

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