“Matagal ko nang nakasama ang mga kapwa mathematician mula sa Mindanao State University (MSU) gayon din ang mga physicists. Matagal na ang kooperasyon ng UP at MSU sa larangan ng agham at matematika. Pero nai-excite ako rito, dahil ito naman ay para sa Philippine studies,” Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo said.
He was referring to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between UP Diliman (UPD) and MSU, which was formally signed on Nov. 18, at the Japan Hall of the UPD Asian Center (AC).
The AC through its dean, Henelito A. Sevilla Jr., PhD, facilitated the partnership with the MSU after several rounds of consultation and communication with MSU MOU coordinator Mustapha E. Dimaro, PhD, admission director of the MSU main campus in Marawi City.
The MOU will have the two universities conduct joint research, faculty consultations, student training and exchanges, and the holding of joint conferences.
“Along with the efforts to achieve an inclusive and quality education, UP strives to regularly review our curricula and expand our partnership and networks, to several other universities inside and outside of the country. I’m sure that in including the rich culture, experiences, and history of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao into our curricula, this new partnership will greatly enhance our Asian and Philippine studies program at the AC and the tri-college Philippine studies program,” Nemenzo said.
He expressed confidence that the MSU will continue an inclusive, quality education under the helm of its president, lawyer Basari D. Mapupuno.
“MSU is among the premier universities in the Philippines and holds the distinction (of being) the melting pot in the South. We believe that MSU, under the leadership of President Mapupuno, will continue to promote an inclusive quality education among the diverse population of students and academics in Sulu, Palawan, and other regions in Mindanao,” Nemenzo said.
The Chancellor also commended the AC in its efforts to forge a partnership with the MSU in the field of Philippine studies.
“The memorandum we are signing today will not only benefit the AC faculty, staff, and students. It will also facilitate similar collaborations between other UPD units and the MSU,” he said.
Mapupuno said the MOU will encompass various forms of academic cooperation.
“The MSU system is exceedingly honored and thrilled to be a part of this cooperation with no less than the trailblazer in the government higher education sphere: UP. This is partly because the MOU, and whatever the MSU and UP will collaborate on afterwards, happen to be in line with the MSU’s thrust: ‘One MSU, taking the world, the future,’” Mapupuno said.
He said the MOU with UP will not only be beneficial to MSU, but to the communities, and the whole country. Mapupuno promised to share the MSU’s resources with UPD.
“Hopefully, this MOU will open the floodgates to blossoming exchanges, collaborations, and other projects that will, in turn, result in beneficial changes that will enrich both institutions. We at the MSU offer to share with UP our strength, our resources, and the cultural and individual wealth that makes the MSU,” Mapupuno said. “We at the MSU gladly look forward to sharing and exchanging research, researchers, faculty, students, library resources, and many other things that this MOU will cover,” he added.
After the MOU signing, the MSU presented Nemenzo with a wood carving that has a gong replica as the centerpiece. In turn, Nemenzo presented Mapupuno with a statuette of the Oblation.
The AC handed over to the MSU symbolic presents of library materials. These were received by Abdulcader M. Ayo, PhD, dean of the MSU Main Campus-Marawi King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic, and Asian Studies. The AC also presented the MSU with a replica of the sarimanok, the AC symbol. Each member of the MSU delegation was also given UP tokens.
The MSU Main Campus-Marawi officials accompanying Mapupuno were Amerkhan G. Cabaro, PhD, vice chancellor for academic affairs; lawyer Mabandes S. Diron Jr., presidential management staff director; lawyer Norsary S. Mamad, special assistant for legal affairs; Dimaro; and Ayo.
UPD officials present at the MOU signing were Maria Bernadette L. Abrera, PhD, dean of the UPD College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) and chair of the UPD Tri-College program; Jimmuel C. Naval, PhD, dean of the UPD College of Arts and Letters (CAL); Mary Jane B. Rodriguez-Tatel, PhD, CAL tri-college coordinator; Lou Angeli A. Ocampo, PhD, CSSP tri-college coordinator; and Maria Diosa D. Labiste, PhD, director of the UPD Office of Extension Coordination.
The event was witnessed by the AC faculty, researchers, and staff, including AC college secretary and head secretariat of the AC tri-college PhD Philippine studies program Maria Dulce F. Natividad, PhD; professor Tina S. Clemente; PhD, associate professors Ariel C. Lopez, PhD, and Maria Cecilia T.G. Medina, PhD; and lecturer Mary Aileen S. Bacalso.
Matthew M. Santamaria, LLD, the AC assistant to the dean for cultural affairs, hosted the event.