CMU elects 1st woman president

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 December) – Central Mindanao University now has a woman as its president, the first in the 100-year-old institution which started as an agricultural school.

The CMU board of regents elected Dr. Maria Luisa R. Soliven, currently vice president for academic affairs, as the 8th president of the university on December 14, according to an announcement posted at the [email protected] online journal.

The other candidates to the post were Dr. Palasig Ampang, president of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM); Dr. Aldegario Gonzales of Western Mindanao State University; Dr. Lordino Cabigon, CMU vice president for administration; Dr. Alexander Campaner of Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST); and Dr. Elpedio Bautista, president of Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT).

Soliven hails from Lagao, Nueva Ecija.

The announcement said she was also the first woman dean of the CMU College of Agriculture.

She succeeded the late Dr. Mardonio Lao, who died of illness before his term ended.

Dr. Rodrigo Malunhao was appointed officer-in-charge after Lao’s death. But he, too, fell ill.

Bukidnon State University president Dr. Victor Barroso is concurrently serving as CMU officer-in-charge.

CMU opened in 1910 as the Mailag Industrial School and offered only the first four grades of the elementary agriculture curriculum. It was originally located in Mailag, Malaybalay. After World War II, the campus was moved to Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon, its present location.

The school underwent several changes in name. It became a university on June 19, 1965, by virtue of Republic Act 4498, with Zosimo Montemayor as the first president. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)