Ranking government officials as well as representatives of sectoral groups attended last week’s investiture of Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza as the 7th President of the Catanduanes State University.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Aldrin Darilag, who chairs the CatSU Board of Regents, administered the oath of office to Pres. Azanza after earlier vesting him with the academic robe, hood and cap in the three-hour ceremony at the auditorium.
Darilag was in town for several days to attend the board meetings not only of CatSU but also of other state universities in mainland Bicol.
The CatSU BOR members in attendance included Regent Atty. Santiago Gabionza Jr., Regent Agnes Tolentino, Regent Ramil Joselito Tamayo, Regent Rosana Abundo, Regent Renz Mickenly Tanael, Regent Rommel Serrano, Regent Luzviminda Oropesa, and Regent Aida Dianela.
Also present were Governor Joseph Cua, Congressman Hector Sanchez, Bishop Manolo de los Santos, PBMs Edwin Tanael and Rafael Zuniega, San Andres Mayor Peter Cua, Bato Mayor Juan Rodulfo, Caramoran Mayor Glenda Aguilar, Gigmoto Mayor Vicente Tayam Jr., and Virac Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla.
In his message, Commissioner Darilag praised Azanza for his dedication and passion for public service and noted that the president deliberately moved away from the traditional investiture by highlighting stakeholders whom he must serve.
Hoping that CatSU students would be locally responsive and globally competitive in the Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA)-driven New Normal World, the CHED official expressed confidence that the leadership of Dr. Azanza would bring forth significant developments in the university.
Darilag called for everyone’s support for his vision of hope in an atmosphere of transparency, accountability and integrity.
Predicting that the new president would endure greater sacrifices, the BOR chair stated his total support for the achievement of the success of CatSU as the archetype of higher education in the Philippines.
In his inaugural address, Pres. Azanza surprised everyone by discussing an unexpected topic: imagining the year 3000 and how learning would occur, asking if there would still be classrooms by that time.
The world by then will have a population of 20 billion, with a third of them in Asia, and the consumption of energy high enough that nations would be forced to make use of solar energy, he said.
Health services would use computer algorithms to determine what is wrong with the human body, with “spare parts” available as replacements, Dr. Azanza opined.
The lifespan of human beings will rise from 120 to 400 years and doctors will be able to detect potential defects in a fetus and correct it while the baby is still in the womb, he said.
On the other hand, tourism will reach as far as the planets while artificial intelligence will decide that is true or not, as data becomes the new oil and nutritious food comes in the form of pills.
The role of teachers would be totally different as virtual mentors of problem-based learning, he suggested.
The challenge, the president declared, is not to tell students the whats, what is needed is to allow the students to have the analytical and creative mindset to do things.
Azanza later turned over to Bishop de los Santos a check for P300,000 for the repair of the Risen Christ Social Hall, which was built on land swapped by then CSC Pres. Rodolfo Azanza.
Former CatSU Pres. Minerva Morales, whose second term was marked by her unceremonious exit, was chosen to turn over the University Mace to the new president.