Election of CMU president postponed – again

MUSUAN, Maramag, Bukidnon – After the election of the Central Mindanao University president was postponed for the second time, members of the state-owned school’s board of regents yesterday expressed worries the process might have been tainted with politics.

In the August 9 presentation of the six candidates for the post, the
search committee announced that by the end of August the board of
regents would have elected CMU’s new president.

In its August 6 meeting, the search committee scheduled a board
meeting on September 8 to elect two “prominent citizens” who shall
represent the private sector.

In preparation for the meeting, the alumni and faculty drew a
shortlist containing five nominees to the board.

Jose Escarlos, president of the CMU Alumni Association and one of the
regents said the two private sector representatives will complete the
membership of the board prior to the election of the new president.

But Escarlos said that on Sept. 7 Commissioner William Medrano of the
Commission on Higher Education called to inform them that the meeting
scheduled the next day had been cancelled.

The date of the meeting was moved to September 16, in Manila, drawing
reactions from the regents. CMU is celebrating its centennial this
week with most activities set on September 15 to 17.

Escarlos said it would be very difficult for the regents like him to
abandon their responsibilities in line with the celebration.

After the regents expressedThey have expressed their intent for the
postponement to another date.

Prof. Lucy Ledres, faculty regent, told MindaNews CHED should have
followed the original date of the meeting for the convenience of most
members of the board.

MindaNews tried to reach student regent Benson Dusaran but he could
not be contacted.

Escarlos on Thursday said they have been informed of an indefinite postponement.

Former faculty regent Dr. Conrado Duque told MindaNews the selection
of the CMU president should be watched because the position involves
handling controversies that have hounded the university for years.

One of the contentious issues is the granting of 670 hectares within
CMU to Manobo-Talaandig ancestral domain claimants through
Presidential Proclamation 310 signed by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo on January 7, 2003.

The late CMU president Mardonio Lao challenged the proclamation in court.

Presidential Proclamation 476 issued on January 16, 1958 by President
Carlos P. Garcia assigned 3,080 hectares of land to CMU.

The board of regents is composed of representatives from the faculty,
students, private sector, alumni, National Economic Development
Authority, Department of Agriculture and Department of Science and
Technology, the CMU president or officer in charge, and the chairs of
the committees on education in both Houses of Congress.

The shortlist of the private sector representatives includes former
CMU president Dr. Isabelo Alombro, inventor and businessman Emmanuel
Alkuino, former Bukidnon congressman Nereus Acosta, scientist Dr.
Enrique Paller, and businesswoman Olive Gamboa.

The six applicants for CMU president are Dr. Palasig Ampang, president
of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM); Dr. Aldegario Gonzales
of Western Mindanao State University; Dr. Lordino Cabigon, CMU’s vice
president for administration;

Dr. Alexander Campaner of Southern Philippines Agri-Business and
Marine and Aquatic School of Technology; Dr. Ma. Luisa Soliven, CMU’s vice president for academic affairs; and Dr. Elpedio Bautista, president of Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)