The University of the Philippines (UP) welcomed its 21st president, UP Diliman College of Law Dean Danilo Concepcion, on February 10 in a ceremonial turnover of the university leadership at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman. He will serve a term of six years.
“Today, I will pass on, with both pride and humility, the mantle of leadership to my successor, whose outstanding qualifications give me confidence that the future of UP is in good hands,” said outgoing UP President Alfredo Pascual in his valedictory address. “I call on our faculty, students, staff, and alumni to help our new president stay the course as he takes his turn in putting a few more stones in the building of our great edifice—that is our UP beloved.”
In his acceptance speech, Concepcion highlighted compassion as an integral value in moving the university forward. “Marapat siguro na ating isaalang-alang na mas titingkad ang taglay nitong bisa kung ang dangal at husay ay kakambal ng pagmamalasakit. Kinakailangan nating itong isapuso at isadiwa sapagkat ito ang magiging pangunahin nating takaran upang matagumpay nating maiukit ang dibuho ng ating hinaharap. Sa susunod na anim na taon na ating pagsasamahan, malasakit ang magbibigay bigkis at buhay sa lahat ng ating layunin, sa lahat ng ating mga kilos, at sa lahat ng ating mga galaw.” (“We should consider that the meaning and value of honor and excellence is further deepened when it is coupled with compassion. We should keep it in our hearts and minds as this will be the foundation upon which we can successfully carve out our plans for the future. In the next six years that we will be together, compassion will unite and give life to all our objectives and all our actions.”)
Prior to the UP presidency, Concepcion was the executive director of the UP Bonifacio Global City campus. He also served as Vice President for Legal Affairs in the administration of his predecessor, Alfredo Pascual. From 2000-2002, he was president of De La Salle Araneta University.
Concepcion earned his Master of Laws degree from the University of London in 1986 as a Chevening Scholar of the United Kingdom government. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree, cum laude, from UP Diliman in 1983. In 1979, he finished his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering degree, summa cum laude, in De La Salle Araneta University. He also topped the licensure examination for agricultural engineers that year.
The new UP president’s platform is the redefinition of UP’s culture, enhancing the time-honored traditions of honor and excellence to include compassion—a virtue he considers as “UP’s moral core as the national university.”
To “engender compassion in [UP’s] culture,” Concepcion has enumerated five key points in his vision paper: the academic thrust should reflect its concern for the welfare of its primary constituency—the nation, the admission and financial aid system should respond to the needs of all deserving students; efficient and effective services must be delivered to UP’s constituency within the campuses and meaningful support extended to all its personnel; as UP’s contribution to prudent management of public resources, creative ways must be conceived to boost its income without abandoning the campaign for increased government subsidy; and UP should contribute to national development.