Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. is expected to be named to his second term as Rector Magnificus of UST, pending approval from the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education.

Ang, who served his first term as the University’s 97th rector from 2020 to 2024, emerged as the top candidate for rector after the Academic Senate evaluated and ranked the terna, which consisted of himself and two former UST rectors.

Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. (rector from 2012-2016 and 2016-2020) and Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. (1990-1994, 1994-1998, and 2008-2012) ranked second and third, respectively.

Ex-rectors in contention for top UST post

Three final steps remain before Ang’s reappointment is finalized.

First, the dicastery will review the recommendation of Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P., Master of the Order and UST chancellor, which stems from the document ratified by the Board of Trustees composed of University vice rectors, the secretary general, and other Dominican friars.

Then, the dicastery will issue the “nihil obstat” declaration, meaning “nothing obstructs.”

The name of the nominee will then be sent back to the Master of the Order for the official appointment.

UST rectors serve four-year terms and can be reappointed for one additional term.

While awaiting the appointment of the new rector, Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P., is acting rector.

A UST alumnus, Ang graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1990 and a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the Ecclesiastical Faculties in 1997.

He earned a licentiate in sacred theology and a master’s degree in religious studies from the Ecclesiastical Faculties and the Graduate School in 1999, followed by a doctorate in philosophy from the Ecclesiastical Faculties in 2010. He consistently received Latin honors throughout his academic career at UST.

The major achievement of Ang’s term was the opening of new UST campuses: the research-focused UST Santa Rosa and the UST General Santos campus in Mindanao.

During his tenure, the University enhanced its information technology infrastructure. He introduced the “enriched virtual mode” for synchronous and asynchronous classes, which was crucial during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also led the return to in-person classes and switched the University’s learning management system from Blackboard to Canvas.

Under his leadership, UST inaugurated the College of Information and Computing Sciences.

Ang also prioritized improving research quality. In May, UST made its debut in the Times Higher Education Asian Rankings, largely due to its strong research performance.

An expert in Eastern Philosophy, Ang served as vice rector under Dagohoy and is also a former dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and secretary of the Ecclesiastical Faculties.

Candidates for rector must be Filipino members of the Dominican Order with civil or ecclesiastical doctorates.

According to the University’s general statutes, the Rector, as the chief executive officer of the University, is responsible for the promulgation of laws and rules in the University, the appointment of officials, the annual budget of the University, and the approval of programs and semestral schedules of all faculties, colleges, and schools.


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