An administration that governs with virtues of fairness, transparency, and accountability is what UP President Angelo Jimenez promised in front of officials, dignitaries, and stakeholders during his formal investiture and installation as the 22nd UP president in UP Mindanao last September 14.
Jimenez was selected by the UP Board of Regents (BOR) on December 9, 2022 and formally assumed office after a scaled-back turnover ceremony on February 7. His investiture marked the first time that the occasion was held outside Luzon.
Jimenez, who hailed from Butuan City, pledged to uphold transparency despite presiding over the controversial selection of the UP Diliman (UPD) chancellor in April, less than two months into his presidency.
But it is not only the Diliman chancellor selection that has been marred with controversy. His own selection as president was cloaked in secrecy. Tagged by critics as a selection out of brotherhood rather than the community, Jimenez, an Alpha Phi Beta fraternity member, bested five other nominees, including the popularly backed Fidel Nemenzo, a former UPD chancellor.
In his seven months in office, Jimenez stayed true to his “making UP a global university” agenda by strengthening relationships with international universities, improving university employees’ welfare through enhancing hospital financial assistance, and spearheading development in Bangsamoro through the UP-Bangsamoro Development Program, among others.
His first few months in office, however, have been turbulent as the university faces a P2.9-billion budget cut, while members of the UP community confront intensified attacks.
His top appointees have likewise faced an early shakeup. Both his vice president for administration (VPA) and vice president for public affairs (VPPA) were replaced, barely six months into his term. VPA Nestor Yunque was replaced by Augustus Resurreccion, the director of the UPD Human Resource Development Office under Nemenzo.
Likewise, creative writing professor Jose Wendell Capili and speech communication professor Sir Anril Tiatco were quietly pushed aside as VPPA and assistant VPPA, respectively. Capili was replaced by Rolando Tolentino, a former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication.
Jimenez is no stranger to serving the university. He was elected chairperson of the UPD University Student Council and was part of the BOR twice: first as a student regent in 1992, and then as a Malacañang-appointed regent from 2016 to 2021. He also once served as associate editor of the Philippine Collegian and president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
Jimenez earned both his Sociology and Law degrees at UPD. He was admitted to the Philippine bar in 1995. He later became a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and completed a master’s in public management at the National University of Singapore in 2013.
Several notable guests were present in the ceremony including Sen. Cynthia Villar, former UP President Danilo Concepcion, and Civil Service Commission Chairperson Alexei Karlo Nograles. A day after his investiture, the first UP-State Universities and Colleges Summit on Excellence and Equity in Public Higher Education was held to discuss the future of public tertiary education in the country.
Jimenez, 57, will serve a six-year term until February 2029. ●
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