The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) is currently in the process of choosing a new Chancellor for their campus, as the term of current Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, Jr. will be ending on October 31, 2020.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, the committee behind the search for the next UPLB Chancellor had to make a few adjustments in order to adapt to the “new normal.” The nominees for the position were sent to the search committee, headed by Dr. Ramon A. Razal, online until July 31, 2020 as per AO No. PDLC 20-20. (Read: UPLB COVID-19 testing center now in the final stages of accreditation)
In the end, three individuals were chosen to be the final nominees for the Chancellor position: Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr., and Dr. Patrick Alain Azanza. The nominees then presented their visions, plans, and programs to different sectors of the university—students, alumni, and faculty—on Wednesday, August 5, to hopefully gain their support.
But who exactly are these three nominees and what are their plans for the university in the next three years? We give you some background information and their vision for UPLB, based on what they said on their presentation.
Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.
Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. is the incumbent Chancellor of UPLB. He is currently serving in his second term of Chancellorship which ends on October 31.
Aside from being the Chancellor, Dr. Sanchez is also a horticulture professor at the university. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in UPLB and went on to take his MS in Environmental Science in the same university. Dr. Sanchez also took a doctoral degree in Landscape Architecture, specializing in Landscape Planning, at the Tokyo University of Agriculture. (Read: UP scientists, engineers develop affordable ventilators for COVID-19 patients)
Dr. Sanchez’s vision for UPLB in the next three years is “Transcending the New Normal: Transforming UPLB into a Resilient and Industry 4.0-Responsive University.” His plan is to make UPLB a “globally exceptional university” that can respond to the “needs of the imminent future.”
He also wants to maintain the academic excellence, leadership, and public service role of UPLB, as it is a constituent university of the University of the Philippines (UP). But Dr. Sanchez adds that these goals should be realigned with the current situation and the challenges it entails, saying that the university should commit to more flexible learning and aim to become a leader in it. (Read: Pasig City Raises P1.2 Billion to Buy Gadgets for Online Classes)
Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr.
Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr. is an Economics professor at UPLB and has also been the Dean of the Graduate School since 2012. He is also the Chair of the Technical Working Group on Graduate Education of the Commission on Higher Education.
A graduate of BS Economics at UPLB, Dr. Camacho took Master of Arts in Economics of Development at the Erasmus University International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands, and studied at the Graduate School of Economics in Kyoto University for his PhD in Economics.
Dr. Camacho’s vision is to “future-proof” UPLB and to maintain the university’s relevance. He plans to do it by “developing methods, approaches, and framework to minimize the cost and impacts of shocks of future events.” He adds that this is quite an “ambitious” plan to take on with COVID-19 pandemic, but he envisions that UPLB can become one of the leading regional and global universities “regardless of the mode of delivery of our services.” (Read: CamSur Rep Proposes Use of ABS-CBN Frequencies for Distance Learning)
According to Dr. Camacho, all his plans have the students, faculty and staff, alumni, and stakeholders in mind, emphasizing that “our inspiration and at the heart of our plans are our students, faculty and staff, our alumni and stakeholders and for the betterment of our Filipino people.”
Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza
Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at UPLB, Master of Arts in Sociology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration both from UP Diliman. He also received a Juris Doctor from the UP College of Law in 2008 and was a UP Presidential Scholarship Grantee during his BA, MS, and PhD days.
Dr. Azanza also received a UP Distinguished Alumnus Award from UPLB for his social service. Currently, he is the president of the Eclaro Academy and Eclaro Business Solutions, Inc., and was also the president of the Philippine National eLearning Association.
According to Dr. Azanza, his vision for UPLB focuses more on technology and eLearning. Specifically, he aims for the university to become a “silicon valley” that can “harness [the university’s] potentials” in development communication, eLearning, information science, and technology. (Read: UP Open University Makes Online Bridge Courses Free for Public)
In his presentation, Dr. Azanza also noted that this vision is aside from maintaining the university’s excellence in agriculture and education. “As we inevitably welcome the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technology advancements, UPLB has that distinct role in defining the academic boundaries and depths by which such technologies and scientific applications shall fit into the University’s curricular offerings in order to develop knowledge and skills that can be put to meaningful use in the industries,” says Dr. Azanza.
The sectoral consultations with students, alumni, faculty, and staff will start on August 6, while the nominees’ interviews will be on August 13. The report by the Search Committee will be submitted to UP President Danilo Concepcion on Friday, September 4.