May 24, 2024

The nomination process for the next chancellor of the University of the Philippines-Baguio has been extended to April 15 amidst the concerns raised against an earlier order that extended the search.

The Search Committee for the next UP Baguio chancellor announced on April 4 it is accepting new nominees.

The announcement, which was posted at the UP Baguio Facebook account, stated any person or group in and outside of the university is encouraged to submit their nomination paper on or before noon of April 15.

The announcement came despite the concerns earlier raised against the March 27 directive of UP President Angelo Jimenez to extend the search “to find additional nominees who may be willing to vie for the position of chancellor of UP Baguio in consideration of the consistently expressed preference of the Board of Regents to have more than one candidate for the office.”

The directive did not sit well with the staff and student regents from UP Baguio who said they were not consulted about the extension of the selection process.

In a letter addressed to the BOR on April 1, Staff Regent Marie Theresa Alambra and Student Regent Sofia Jan Trinidad said: “The decision was made without the Search Committee report being disseminated to the Board for our perusal and without any discussion in an official Board meeting.”

“We understand the value of having more than one nominee for higher positions in the university, but with UP’s tradition of democratic consultation, we would have preferred being consulted about this matter and having read the Search Committee report before a decision was made to extend the search,” the letter added.

The UP Baguio Student Council has asked Jimenez to explain and clarify the inconsistencies of the search process. 

In a statement, they said there were precedents where the BOR chose a sole nominee for chancellor, which contradict Jimenez’s claim of the BOR’s preference for multiple nominees. They cited the appointment of Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. as the 10th UP Los Baños chancellor and the assumption of Dr. Carmencita Padilla in 2020 as the UP Manila chancellor. 

“We express our deepest concern on this matter, as the decision to extend the search goes against the democratic process we are to uphold inside and outside the institution. The decision to extend the search process demonstrated the lack of transparency and democracy, which merited questioning and accountability,” the statement read. 

Dr. Corazon Abansi, the incumbent chancellor, and professor Wilfredo Alangui were nominated for the positions, but Abansi backed out on April 1, leaving Alangui the sole contender for the seat. 

Alangui, who remains a nominee, received overwhelming support from various stakeholders, which convinced him to accept his nomination. – Jane B. Cadalig