LAWYER and former regent Angelo “Jijil” Jimenez has been named the new president of the University of the Philippines.
Jimenez will be the university’s 22nd president and will start serving his six year term in February 2023, replacing Danilo Concepcion.
The Board of Regents selected Jimenez from a pool of six candidates on Friday, amid a vocal push from student councils, organizations, and other stakeholders to choose UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo for the presidency.
The other candidates for the post were Dr. Patrick Alain Azanza, an expert in ICT-based education; Atty. Salvador Belaro Jr., former 1-Edukasyon party list representative; Dr. Benito Pacheco, an engineering expert; and Dr. Fernando Sanchez Jr., a horticulturist and arborist.
Jimenez was the BOR’s unanimous choice for the presidency, UP said in a statement.
The new UP prexy’s vision
Jimenez thanked the board for choosing him to lead the university.
“From my time as a student until I earned my degrees from the University of the Philippines, I have sought to serve an institution that is not just a microcosm of Philippine society, but a symbol of the enduring promise and boundless potential of our nation,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
He vowed to uphold what UP stands for.
“I hope to uphold the virtues we hold dear—honor and excellence, giting at tapang—and, more importantly, apply these to the benefit of the Filipino people and the world,” he said.
“To the UP community, I shall serve you in all humility. Let us work so that together we can unlock the limitless resource that is the Iskolar ng Bayan. Together we shall Serve the People. Mabuhay ang UP, mabuhay ang Pag-asa ng Bayan,” he added.
Jimenez wants UP to “strive to become a global university.” In particular, the university must lead as a research university by focusing on graduate and post-graduate programs and academic linkages; and as a public service university through extension service to the government and industry, he said.
He also said the university must help raise the quality of undergraduate education in other state colleges and universities.
It must advocate for an Open Data Policy, embrace digital transformation in learning and management, and defend and enhance academic freedom, he said.
Jimenez is no stranger to working for UP, having served as Student Regent in 1992, and again as regent from 2016 to 2021.
He is the first Student Regent to serve as UP president.
He was also a lecturer at the UP Law Center Institute of the Administration of Justice from 2016 to 2021, and served as consultant of the UP Centre International de Formation des Autorites et Leaders or International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders Philippines.
He was a trustee of the UP Foundation from 2017 to 2021.
The new UP president has a sociology degree and a law degree from UP Diliman. He passed the bar in 1994.
He was a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and has a Masters in Public Management from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Among the many awards he has received is the Outstanding Butuanon Award for Professional Excellence.