UP President Danilo Concepcion, co-chair of the UP Board of Regents (BOR), announced the selection of Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo, current UP Diliman (UPD) Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, as UPD chancellor 2020-2023, before a multisectoral mobilization at Quezon Hall, UPD awaiting the BOR decision on February 3, 2020.
Nemenzo is the tenth UPD chancellor, succeeding Dr. Michael L. Tan.
Nemenzo’s selection as the chancellor of the national university’s flagship campus was the result of a thorough and at times contentious selection process conducted by a multisectoral search committee. His selection as chancellor was confirmed by the BOR during its 1350th meeting on February 3, 2020.
He addressed the crowd right after the UP president’s announcement. “Ang tagumpay ngayon ay tagumpay nating lahat. Alam kong narito kayo hindi para ipaglaban ako, [kundi] para ipaglaban ang UP. Narito kayo para sa academic freedom, demokratikong pamamahala, para madinig ang boses ng ating komunidad sa mga importanteng desisyon ng BOR [Today’s victory is the victory of us all. I know you are here not to fight for me but to fight for UP. You are here for academic freedom, democratic governance, and for the voice of the community to be heard in important decisions of the BOR],” Nemenzo said.
“Inaasahan ko ang inyong pakikilahok at pagkakaisa sa mga darating na hamon at pagsubok na sama-sama nating haharapin. Taus-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong lahat! Mabuhay ang UP! [I look forward to your participation and unity amid the challenges we will all meet head on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Long live UP!]” he added.
In his vision paper presented during the chancellorship selection process, Nemenzo declared that he would re-imagine UP Diliman as a “modern research university with a public mission”, and an “academic center of excellence” that is inclusive, diverse, inter-disciplinary and public service-oriented. He pledged to continue to cultivate UP Diliman’s spirit of critical inquiry and academic excellence “guided by a strong moral compass”. He is committed to safeguarding academic freedom in UP Diliman. He has also vowed to be guided by the principles of democratic governance, administrative and operational efficiency, and sustainability and resiliency.
Nemenzo graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from UP Diliman in 1985, and earned his Master and Doctor of Science in Mathematics degrees from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1992 and 1998, respectively.
He has been teaching in the UP Institute of Mathematics since 1992, and has served as: Deputy-Director for Academic Affairs in the Institute of Mathematics; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the UP College of Science; OIC Director of the UP Institute for Small Scale Industries; and, from 2014 to the present, Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development.
His areas of research are number theory, elliptic curves and coding theory. Among the awards he has received are the Achievement Award in mathematics from the National Research Council of the Philippines and the UP Diliman Gawad Chancellor Para sa Pinakamahusay na Guro. He was the president of both the Southeast Asian Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Society of the Philippines, and has held research and teaching posts in Singapore, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Munich and Phnom Penh. In 2019, Nemenzo was elected to the Governing Board of the National Research Council of the Philippines, and is Chair of its Mathematics Division.