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Rizal Street, Legazpi City,
Albay, Legazpi, Philippines
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8th BU President

A World-Class Institution-Builder

Dr. Arnulfo Mateum Mascariñas, during his tenure as the 8th President of Bicol University from March 4, 2015, until February 23, 2023, had a vision of “A World Class University Producing Leaders and Change Agents for Social Transformation and Development,” which focused on six strategic options to enhance the university’s performance and development.

       These options included promoting responsive academic governance, enhancing the university’s resource endowment, offering market-driven academic programs, strengthening research, development, and extension (RD&E) efforts, developing top students and faculty members, and modernizing infrastructure.

       Noteworthy achievements under his leadership include organizational restructuring, right-sizing personnel assignments, maximizing fund sources, streamlining administrative processes, innovative efficiency mechanisms, land consolidation, the establishment of science and technology hubs, alumni engagement, funding endowments, and research contracts. He also oversaw market-driven academic programs, alternative delivery systems, program accreditations, quality assurance, institutional accreditation, research center creation, commercialization of outputs, research publications, student and faculty support, human resource development programs, academic facility improvements, climate- proofing facilities, enhanced IT capabilities, and internationalization efforts.

       Dr. Mascarinas also spearheaded the creation of additional R&D centers, including the Regional Center for Food Safety and Quality Assurance, the Center for Technology Commercialization and Enterprise Development, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Center for Gender and Development, the Center for Policy Studies and Development, the Regional Center for Science and Mathematics Education Development, and the Bicol Regional Food Innovation and Commercialization Center. He also focused on strengthening the online presence and public image of Bicol University with the creation of the Communication and Public Relations Office that handled the trimedia pathways for communication through the revamp of the website, the enhancement of the social media, and the continuing publication of the Executive Newsletter that started under the administration of Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, the 7thBU president.

       Under his leadership, four new academic institutions were born: the Institute of Architecture (now the Institute of Design and Architecture), the College of Law, the College of Dental Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Likewise, the renaming of colleges based on location was also implemented: BU Tabaco Campus to BU Tabaco, BU College of Agriculture and Forestry to BU Guinobatan, BU Gubat
Campus to BU Gubat, BU Polangui Campus to BU Polangui, BU Main Campus to BU Legazpi West, and BU Daraga Campus to BU Daraga.

       The university also prioritized innovative student programs like the Bicol University Best Undergraduate Thesis (BUBUT), fostering cutting-edge research and development initiatives. Additionally, Dr. Mascarinas promoted the professional growth of both teaching and non-teaching personnel through a comprehensive Human Resource Development Program, which included hiring new staff and implementing various development initiatives to enhance the skills and capabilities of university employees.

       He made significant strides in enhancing academic support and infrastructure. This included the construction of new academic buildings like BU Tabaco Fisheries and Nursing Department Academic Buildings, campus dormitories, and improved water supply and toilet facilities, as well as communication assistance. The university also invested in research facilities, upgrading laboratories in fields such as the College of Science, BRFICC, and RCFSQA. Additionally, measures were taken to climate-proof facilities, with the construction of a convention center, road network improvements, and infrastructure projects aimed at bolstering resilience against natural disasters.

       Furthermore, the university prioritized the repair and maintenance of existing teaching and research facilities to optimize functionality, while also procuring IT and lab equipment to support instruction and adopting a SMART Campus approach to enhance overall IT capabilities. Despite challenges like K-12, SUC leveling, Industry 4.0, natural calamities, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mascariñas’s presidency was characterized by significant accomplishments that strengthened Bicol University’s position as a higher education institution in the country.

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