Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Professor Caesar Saloma is elected as new UP Diliman Chancellor

Professor Caesar Saloma, Dean of the College of Science has been very recently selected as chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman campus by the university Board of Regents (BOR). Prof Saloma is credited for seeing the eventual completion of the National Science Complex (NSC). The complex is near completion as the buildings of all the science institutes are in their final stages of construction. This is no mean achievement given the scale of the project and the funding shortfalls of recent years.

Professor Saloma was chosen in what is believed to be a close contest between two other chancellor-nominees, all of whom are capable administrators.

Prof Saloma is a renowned physicist and is a Galileo Galilei awardee for optics research. A capable administrator who despite years in Diliman, hasn't completely lost his Boholano accent, Saloma will have to deal with issues that have plagued the Diliman academic community for years. These range from staff benefits, faculty tenure and promotion, student welfare, campus security, and the perennial problem of illegal settlers on university land. Dealing with these issues will surely test Professor Saloma's patience, tact and diplomacy.  These are traits that he surely doesn't lack as shown in his tenure as Science dean.

The Diliman campus is a rambunctious federation of colleges and departments, each zealously guarding its prerogatives. Prof Saloma will have to craft a consensus and compromises on the various issues one of which is the thorny issue of continued commercialization of university assets.

Prof Saloma is the first Diliman chancellor who will serve completely under the terms of the 2008 UP Charter. His selection by the BOR shows the direction of the new UP president's administration will go.  The appointment will be surely noted by the country's political establishment. It is good politics for the occupant of Quezon Hall's North Wing (President) to be on the same wavelength as that of the South Wing tenant (Chancellor)!

Saloma will serve a three year term as chancellor. He may be reappointed to a second term if the BOR sees it fit.

Mabuhay! All the best for Prof Saloma!

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