By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The new chancellor of the University of the Philippines Baguio (UP Baguio) reiterated the role of this premier university to the city, region and nation as he challenged his faculty and administration and encouraged everyone to join him in his vision to bring UP Baguio “to greater heights”.Dr. Raymundo Rovillos, the second chancellor of UP Baguio in his speech during his investiture at the UP Baguio’s Bulwagang Juan Luna last August 24 pointed out that the issue of relevance of the university to its immediate community, the Cordillera and the country is even more compelling at this time when the state, church and civil society is seen to have failed in addressing the most pressing challenges of this era. He reiterated that the university should undergo serious self reflection and reformation about the its role.
Rovillos defined three major roles that he hopes the university would assume and perform well under his term. He said UP Baguio should press on in “seeking and imparting knowledge, shaping minds that shape the nation and enriching the staging ground for cultural and national life”.
He explained that in order to impart knowledge the university must continue to seek knowledge through interdisciplinary and comparative research. He added that researches should be relevant and results should address the needs not just of the academe but of the wider community.
Rovillos is a respected and accomplished scholar who has undertaken research in history, gender, climate change, education and indigenous peoples. Many of his works have been published and presented to numerous local, national and international conferences. His latest work Development, Power and Identity Politics in the Philippines came out in The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Corporations and the State edited by Suzana Sawyer and Terence Gomez was published by Palgrave Macmillan this year.
“The most valuable of all natural resources especially today when almost all resources are depleted is critical intelligence,” he said as he reiterated UP’s role in “shaping minds that shape the nation”. He also said the university must foster liberal education in the arts and sciences “to produce leaders that could imagine a more just and humane society.”
The new chancellor also hopes to revive, what he called the used to be vibrant arts and cultural life inside the campus. He vowed to pursue Cordillera studies, the promotion and protection of the Cordillera and Northern Luzon heritage more aggressively.
Rovillos recognized that he has embarked on a difficult journey and is calling on all the alumni, local and national officials and civil society to help UP Baguio play its role and become relevant to the community and society as a whole.
“We can not do this alone. We need your help,” he said. # nordis.net