University of the Philippines College of Law dean Danilo Concepcion edged out five other nominees during a vote by the 11-member UP Board of Regents (BOR), the highest policy-making body of the university.
UP Diliman/Released
Law dean named UP president
THE DOWNBEAT - Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines College of Law dean Danilo Concepcion will be the next president of the country’s national university, succeeding Alfredo Pascual who will end his six-year term in February 2017.

The 58-year-old Concepcion edged out five other nominees during a vote by the 11-member UP Board of Regents (BOR), the highest policy-making body of the university.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us,” Concepcion told reporters following his selection yesterday. “We have to consult. That’s the cornerstone of my
management style. (It) must be consultative.”

The law dean, topnotcher in the 1983 Bar examinations, got the majority of votes after a single-round of secret balloting among members of the board. The breakdown of the votes was not released.

Concepcion won against former UP vice president for public affairs and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) commissioner J. Prospero de Vera, who was reportedly touted as the candidate supported by the Duterte administration.

Other nominees include UP vice president for academic affairs Gisela Concepcion, former UP Diliman College of Engineering dean and Department of Science and Technology undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, UP Diliman vice chancellor for academic affairs Benito Pacheco and former UP Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma.

Asked about the deliberations, CHED chair Patricia Licuanan – who co-chairs the BOR with outgoing president Pascual – said the vote was “easier than expected” and that the deliberations were very friendly.

“We expect him to continue a lot of the initiatives of the past presidents,” she said of Concepcion. “He’s an excellent manager. He troubleshoots well (and) he’s a brilliant lawyer... His track record in the College of Law, he was really able to lift the performance of UP.”

For his part, Pascual said he expects the transition to be smooth and expressed confidence that the incoming president will build upon the programs that he introduced in the past six years.

“I’m confident about continuity. The next president will continue and build upon what we have started,” he said.

Consultative leadership

Asked about his plans upon assuming office, Concepcion pledged to work with all sectors through a consultative management style.

He vowed to address red tape and other bureaucratic issues, including the procurement processes of the university.

“We have to make all the processes in the university efficient and effective,” he said.

Concepcion, the executive director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus and a former vice president for legal affairs of the university, said he has no problem working with the Duterte administration.

“We work in an academic institution and we need the support of government, while the government needs the support of the academics,” he added.

Student regent Raoul Manuel said Concepcion was the most open to the student agenda that they presented, including the call to not hike tuition and other fees during his term.

“The student body will be there to remain vigilant and always challenge the new president to always side with the students, faculty and staff whose welfare and interests have long been pushed and forwarded,” he said.

Concepcion graduated summa cum laude with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from the De La Salle University-Araneta in 1979.

He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from UP Diliman in 1983 and topped the Bar that year. He finished Master of Laws as a Chevening Scholar at the University of London, Queen Mary College in 1986.

He previously served as president of De La Salle University-Araneta (2000 to 2002), head of the UP Law Center (2002 to 2006) and associate commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1996 to 2000).

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