University of the Philippines

Citing ‘well-being, other responsibilities,’ Abansi backs out of UP Baguio chancellor selection

Sherwin de Vera

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Citing ‘well-being, other responsibilities,’ Abansi backs out of UP Baguio chancellor selection

UP BAGUIO. The entrance to UP Baguio

'While it was not an easy decision to make, I believe it is in the best interest of everyone involved,' says UP Baguio Chancellor Corazon Abansi, whose term ends in April

VIGAN CITY, Philippines – Citing her “well-being and other responsibilities,” Professor Corazon Abansi bowed out of the search for the next University of the Philippines (UP) Baguio chancellor. 

In a Facebook post on Friday, March 8, the incumbent chancellor said that heeding her family’s advice, she notified the Search Committee of her decision to withdraw on March 1. 

“After careful consideration and reflection on the recent events related to the search process and my personal and professional commitments, I have come to a conclusion that it would be better to prioritize my well-being and other responsibilities at this time. While it was not an easy decision to make, I believe it is in the best interest of everyone involved,” Abansi said.

“I am thankful for the nomination, support, and encouragement I have received from colleagues and friends. I offer my apologies for any inconvenience this decision may cause, it was not made lightly,” she added.

Abansi took over as the third UP Baguio chancellor on April 14, 2021, and will serve until April 13, 2024.

She earned her Doctor of Philosophy from UP Los Baños in 1997, where she also completed a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics in 1980. She obtained a master’s degree in economics from UP Diliman in 1994. 

During her watch, the UPB’s Crisis Management Committee identified red-tagging as one of its concerns. This came after her administration came under intense criticism for a red-tagging incident in one of its National Service Training Program lectures, prompting Abansi tp apologize “for the lapse on the part of the administration.” 

Other nominee

The other nominee for UP Baguio’s top office is Mathematics Professor Wilfredo Alangui, who has received numerous endorsements in and outside the university. These came from UPB organizations, alumni, local and foreign educators, the Baguio community, and civil society groups. 

An online petition urging him to accept the nomination for chancellor started in January. 

In accepting the nomination on February 7, Alangui said: “I am now putting myself forward and accepting the nomination. I realize that before I retire, I can contribute more in fulfilling the University’s mandate to the region and the country by serving in the capacity of UP Baguio Chancellor.” 

The UP Alumni Association Baguio Northern Luzon Chapter expressed support for Alangui as the next chancellor in a statement. 

“[The Board of Directors] unanimously agreed that Dr. Alangui possesses the qualities and vision necessary to lead our alma mater to greater heights,” they stated. 

This is the first time the organization endorsed a candidate for the office, “further underscoring the exceptional nature” of their decision. 

Alangui completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics from the University of Auckland in 2010 and in 1993 earned his Master of Science in Mathematics in UP Diliman. He graduated from UP Baguio in 1985 with a degree on Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.  

The city’s broadest network of civil society groups, The Baguio We Want, to which Alangui is a member, said: “His inclusive approach to leadership ensures that every voice is heard and valued in decision-making processes, thereby fostering a campus environment that embraces diversity and promotes equity.” 

“Now more than ever, we need an academic institution with principled and grounded leadership. Choosing Willy as the next chancellor of the university is a step toward making education an instrument in reshaping the [Baguio] for its people,” the statement reads. 

He also received support from UPB’s oldest student political party, the Alliance of Concerned Students (ACS) established in 1978. 

The group cited his support for calls on the mass promotion of students during the pandemic and appropriate pay increase for workers and instructors in the university. 

“He is from and for our ili (village)–the UP Baguio and the Cordillera… a Chancellor who immediately heeds our calls, someone who is grounded on the situation of their stakeholders and immerses themselves in the wider community outside the university,” the group said. –

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