Saturday, January 2, 2010

University of Santo Tomas : Youngest Civil Law dean appointed

COMMERCIAL law professor Nilo Divina is the new dean of the Faculty of Civil Law, starting his tenure as the youngest dean of the oldest law school in the country in the second semester.

Divina, 44, took over officer in charge Augusto Aligada, who replaced former dean Roberto Abad who was appointed to the Supreme Court last August 10.

Divina said his objective is to put UST in the top three law schools of the country during his three-year term.

“I know it's a gargantuan task, but it can be done,” he said.

To do this, Divina has set a three-point agenda. “[These are]: improving the roster of faculty members, improving the Civil Law facilities, and recruiting the best students not just from UST, but also the best from all over the country,” he said.

In the recent listing of the Commission on Higher Education, UST was ranked 7th among law schools nationwide based on the bar exams passing rate. But Aligada, in an earlier interview, dismissed the listing as “inaccurate” since it lumped all law schools in one listing without taking into account the number of lawyers they produced.

Aligada cited the case of the newly established La Salle-Far Eastern University MBA Juris Doctor program. It placed fourth because of its 77 percent passing rate, with 24 bar takers passing the test. UST, meanwhile, had a lower passing rate of 51.81 percent, but was able to produce 100 new Thomasian lawyers.

Divina said his office would coordinate with the Office for Alumni Relations to attract “well-meaning” patrons and friends to raise funds.

“Coupled with a scholarship grant, it would be easier to attract the top students from all over the country to enroll in UST if you have the best faculty members and the best facilities,” Divina said.

Moves to establish the Center for Commercial Law started under Abad's tenure will have to wait, he said.

“Bobby (Abad) had laid the groundwork for the establishment of a commercial law center. We will continue that. But first, my priorities are fixed on my three-point agenda,” Divina said.

Divina also plans to put a website for the faculty, which would serve as a legal search

By Darenn G. Rodriguez

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