UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. and Facilities Management Office Director Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P. lead the blessing of the UST General Santos Main Building Chapel on Tuesday, April 9. University officials and employees of the Mindanao campus attended the Mass and blessing. (Photo by Rainiel Angelyn B. Figueroa/ The Varsitarian)

THE ACADEMIC staff of UST General Santos (GenSan) is expanding in preparation for its opening year, with most hires sourced from Mindanao to fulfill the University’s commitment to the GenSan city government.

As of May, the new campus employs 19 academic staff and 24 non-academic or support personnel, according to Professor Emeritus Maribel Nonato, the assistant to the rector for UST GenSan.

The number of academic staff is anticipated to increase depending on student enrollment, with projections indicating that the number could reach 40 by the middle of Academic Year 2024-2025.

“We have promised the City of GenSan [that] we will be hiring, as much as possible, people from GenSan or people from Mindanao,” Nonato said. 

Nonato said all academic staff members of UST GenSan hold either a master’s or doctorate degree, meeting the Commission on Higher Education’s minimum requirements for tertiary-level faculty.

The candidates were screened from a pool of 1,400 applicants in coordination with the UST Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, she said. The UST Human Resource Department oversaw the hiring of non-academic staff.

Nonato said some of the academic staff were recruited from local universities and would join the faculty roster on their official start date, Aug. 16.

In preparation for the opening, the Mindanao campus will introduce the new staff to the Thomasian brand of education through a “Thomasian Identity Seminar,” which will include collaboration with instructors from UST Manila.

“There will be mentoring of faculty members, senior faculty from here (Manila) to the new faculty there (GenSan),” Nonato said.

For administrative staff, UST prefers to hire individuals from the Sampaloc campus who are already familiar with the UST system, she said.

“The [administrative staff] should be accepted first as a faculty member. Preferably sana, mas gusto namin na ‘yung admin ay from here (Manila) kasi alam na nila ung Thomasian identity, alam na nila ‘yung system on how UST works,” she said.

UST has so far named five administrative officials for the GenSan campus:

  • Fr. Roberto Luanzon Jr., O.P., officer in charge of UST GenSan’s Office of the Associate Vice Rector for Finance;
  • Fr. Gerard Zabala, O.P., associate vice rector for religious affairs;
  • Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo Medina, acting director for student admissions and records;
  • Assoc. Prof. Leonardo Canoy, officer in charge of the School of Business and Accountancy; and
  • Prof. Edilberto Manahan, director of the School of Health Sciences.

Nonato said the incoming director of UST GenSan’s School of Engineering and Information Technology would be named on Aug. 16.

According to Nonato, the primary focus of UST GenSan is to stabilize operations during its inaugural year by “investing” in staff who can help develop the campus’s academic programs.

She said hiring local talent was crucial to UST GenSan’s transformation into an agri-tech campus.

Some support staff began working at the Mindanao campus on March 18, with the remainder starting on June 1. Job postings for UST GenSan were first announced in November 2023.


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