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Dr. Morales is new President of Catanduanes State University

OATH OF OFFICE – Dr. Minerva I. Morales takes her Panunumpa sa Katungkulan, as witnessed by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan.

Dr. Minerva I. Morales was unanimously elected as the Catanduanes State University's (CSU) first President during the CSU Board of Regents meeting on March 25, 2013 at CHED Central Office, UP Diliman Campus.

The election was chaired by Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education. It likewise culminated the almost two months search process which officially started on February 4, 2013 following the widest publication and dissemination of notice and search for CSU presidency in national and local newspapers, Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) member institutions, and in all academic and administrative offices of CSU.

Prior to the BOR election, Dr. Morales likewise topped in the three-tiered competitive selection process wherein the applicants were rated in accordance with CHED Memorandum Order No. 16 series 2009, or the Rules and Regulations Governing the Search for President of State Universities and Colleges. The general evaluation consisted of Profile Appraisal (Professional Competence and Academic Background), Public Forum, and Panel Interview.

Under Profile Appraisal-Professional Competence, the applicant’s crafted Philosophy, Mission and Vision was graded, as well as the Relevant Administrative Experiences, Managerial Competence, and Acceptability in the Community. In the Academic Background, the applicant's Tertiary Level Teaching and Extension experiences were accordingly rated, including Relevant Academic and Research Background.

In the Public Forum, the applicants were rated according to their Personal Traits, Grasp and Ability to Respond to Situation; Mission, Vision, Programs; Public Image, Acceptability and Rapport with Constituents, and Personal Credibility.

Dr. Morales was designated by CHED Central Office as the University Officer In-Charge last December 10, 2012 after the conversion of Catanduanes State Colleges into a university. On July 15, 2011, she was elected as the sixth President of the CSC.

Recently, she finished the Executive Management Program at Asian Institute of Management as recipient of the Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities (PASUC) - Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Executive Development Program for State Universities and Colleges (SUC) Presidents.

She also completed the Executive Course in Education Management and Leadership jointly implemented by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and the Commission on Higher Education, in partnership with the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.

The executive course, which is aligned to the Public Higher Education Reform Roadmap (PHER) 2011-2016, aims to “enhance the capability of managers of public higher education institutions to implement the reforms and program initiatives of the PHER Roadmap.” Moreover, it is designed to develop and strengthen the key leadership and management capabilities of senior executives and middle managers of state universities all over the country, putting emphasis on SUC performance excellence, entrepreneurship, strategic innovation and global competitiveness, according to DAP.

Dr. Morales built her career in the academe starting as Instructor I. Currently she holds the Professor VI academic rank, with multidisciplinary expertise both in theory and practice in aquatic sciences, biodiversity, research and development management, and educational administration. She also handled various administrative posts such as College Secretary, Officer in Charge of Research and Extension Services, Director for Research and Development Services and Vice President for Research, Extension and Production Affairs. She was also designated for several times as Officer-in-Charge of the Catanduanes State Colleges.

Her researches have likewise won numerous international, national, regional, and zonal awards, as well as fund grants such as the International Foundation for Science (IFS) in Stockholm, Sweden.

In the span of her various administrative designations, she has drafted numerous proposals, formulated manuals, guidelines, and mechanics which later served as bases and groundwork in the research, extension, production and instruction functions of the CSC.

She also spearheaded the establishment of institutional programs in research and production as well as in the conduct of feasibility studies that merited financial support from numerous funding institutions.

It can be recalled that the CSU Board of Regents, acting on the last part of Section 9 of RA 10229 or An Act Converting the Catanduanes State Colleges into Catanduanes State University, and with CHED's guidance, approved during its 157th special meeting at CHED Central Office on January 28, 2013 to conduct the Search for CSU President.

The last part of RA 10229's Section 9, which is the clincher in determining the First University President thus states: “Provided, that in order to effect a smooth transition to a state university, the CHED shall designate an Officer-in-Charge of the University, pending appointment of the first President of the University.”

CSU is the only higher education institution in the country which was converted into State University that has this peculiar provision. In all other SUCs in the Philippines, the incumbent Presidents of the university-converted college automatically become the first university president. Hence, the time frame of the search process for CSU president is also not as normally scheduled due to that unprecedented provision.

Notwithstanding the said unusual clause contained in the law that created Catanduanes State University, the search process followed all other existing rules and regulations, specifically CHED Memorandum Order No. 16 Series 2009 or Rules and Regulations Governing the Search for President of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and RA 8292 or the Higher Education Modernization Act. (Gerry S. Rubio/PR & Information Services, CSU)