Vistan is Law dean

(MAR. 16)—The UP College of Law (CL) has a new dean with the appointment of Prof. Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II, LL.B., LL.M., on Feb. 26.

The 16th CL dean, Vistan’s appointment was approved by the Board of Regents at its 1358th meeting and he serves until Feb. 25, 2024.

Vistan in his Vision and Plans Paper said the immediate challenge “is to be able to ride the momentum built by the significant strides the Law Complex community has made in curriculum development, subject matter delivery, as well as stakeholder welfare, while dealing with the new realities that the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to confront.”

This challenge he would deal with a “mindset of building on the gains of the past years while adjusting to the challenging demands of the present and future,” a commitment he promised to bring to the Office of the Dean.

Up until his appointment as Dean, he was the Office of Legal Aid Director (appointed in June 2019) and UP Bonifacio Global City Executive Director (appointed in February 2020).

The CL Assistant Professor 6 said in his Vision and Plans Paper any plan of action he would embark in would be constantly looking out for how the members of the community are reacting to and coping with developments.  “More importantly, the plan itself should be amenable to adjustments based on the community’s reaction and still achieve its goals,” he said.

The community he referred to is not exclusive to the UP Law community but to the public.

“In keeping with our public service mandate as part of the national university, our priorities should include expanding and diversifying the ways in which we could be of service to the public.  Our law school should be at the forefront of the public service lawyering not only because these trying times demand it, but also because the experience of our law clinics inform us that there is much to discover, study and possibly transform as our legal institutions and its stakeholders react to the times.  Our clinical legal education program is well positioned to lead in this regard, so enabling it to do just that will be a priority,” Vistan said.

UP Law Complex plans.  Vistan plans to realize his vision for the UP Law Complex by adopting eight measures:  prioritizing resource generation and maximization, primarily by making channels to support the College (to be) more accessible; bolstering and developing the CL faculty and staff; rationalizing the administrative workload of faculty members so they could devote more time to teaching and research; leveraging current distance learning experiences to develop and institutionalize a distance learning option for CL academic offerings; expanding and updating CL collection of institutionally published works, and make them digitally accessible; continuing reforms in the curricula and administration of CL degree programs to allow for variety and flexibility in learning and at the same time ensure adequate preparations for the bar examinations; establishing a permanent office for standardized testing and checking to develop institutional exam delivery and evaluation capabilities, which could then be deployed for bar review courses and, if so requested by the handling faculty member, for student evaluation in other courses; and building on CL Quality Management System (QMS) gains by setting higher quality goals where there is room to do so and expanding QMS to other aspects of CL work.

Vision.  The new Dean envisions the UP Law Complex to be an institution of legal learning and research that “animated by its dedication to public service and the pursuit of academic excellence” provides an environment where students acquire knowledge, perspectives and experience that help them become lawyers capable of leading and transforming society in a constantly evolving world; prioritizes research on the law and legal policy, elevates the quality of such research through scientific and multidisciplinary approaches, and makes research accessible to its various stakeholders; actively pursues the improvement of legal education and collaborates with other stakeholders to achieve this end; provides varied life-long learning opportunities in the law; works with its stakeholders in creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes personal development, sustainable careers and institutional adaptability; significantly contributes to making the law and legal processes accessible; and leads in adherence to relevant standards in pursuing sustainability.

Resilient, creative, decisive.  Apart from his ability to deliver the work demands expected of him, retired Law professor Rowena Daroy Morales in her nomination letter endorsing Vistan as the next CL Dean described him as a person that demonstrates resiliency, creativity and decisiveness “that makes him suitable for the demands that would be placed on the Dean of our college during these times of far-reaching and difficult challenges,” Morales said.

He is also known for his love of teaching and mentoring, and for his rapport and ability to work with his fellow faculty, his students and the CL staff.

Vistan joined the CL faculty in January 2015 and has also held administrative duties in various capacities including Assistant to the Dean for University Council (UC) and Academic Affairs (April 2018 – until his appointment as Dean), Representative to the UC Curriculum Committee (April 2018 – present) and Officer-in-Charge, Institute for International Legal Studies (January 2016 – July 2016).

He teaches Transportation and Public Utilities, Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law 2, and has authored academic and non-academic writings including the book “Handbook on Philippine Competition Act: An Introduction to Republic Act No. 10667, which he co-authored with N.F.L. Ty, M.B. San Buenaventura-Dy, K.L.T. Uy-Sia and D.A. Angeles and published in 2018.

Vistan earned his LL.M. from Yale Law School, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA in 2017 and is a candidate for the degree of Doctor of the Science of Law in the same law school.  He is the valedictorian of UP Law Class 2003 graduating cum laude, and graduated cum laude in 1998 for his BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at UP Diliman National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.