Dr. Roberto C. Guarte (left) passes the symbolic key to Dr. Jannet C. Bencurre (right) in a simple turnover ceremony held last week at the new CET Function Hall.

Before his retirement to public service in February next year, Dr. Roberto C. Guarte wants a new leadership in the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) to be formally installed to make way for an orderly and effective transfer of power.

Dr. Guarte turns over the Deanship to Dr. Jannet C. Bencurre, the current Head of the Department of Geodetic Engineering (DGE).

The transition of leadership has long begun a few months ahead of the formal installation of the new CET Dean. This is part of Dr. Guarte’s strong resolve to mentor the next generation of leaders of their college.

Dr. Guarte, who served as CET Dean for 15 years, is the longest serving leader of the said college who propelled it to national prestige. He is also credited for the expansion of the curricular offerings of CET to include more engineering courses including the addition of new courses in the allied fields of meteorology and computer science.

Under his leadership, CET was able to maintain its Center of Excellence (COE) status in Agricultural Engineering awarded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

It was also through Dr. Guarte that both civil and agricultural engineering programs were accredited as Washington Accord compliant by the Philippine Technological Council – Accreditation and Certification Board for Engineering and Technology (PTC-ACBET).

CET was also able to produce numerous topnotchers especially in the fields of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and geodetic engineering making it one of the top performing engineering schools in the country, and one of the leading engineering schools in both Visayas and Mindanao regions.

Dr. Guarte devoted 40 years of his professional and dedicated service to VSU by pioneering many research projects in the university including the establishment of the Plant Oil Technology Center (POTC) and the Regional Renewable Energy Research Center (RRERC).

He also served as Vice President for Administration and Finance for eight years under former VSU President Jose L. Bacusmo. During his term as Vice President, Dr. Guarte planned, executed and monitored numerous infrastructure projects within the VSU system.

Dr. Guarte was also active in national organizations by being an active leader of various professional organizations including the CHED Technical Panel for Engineering and Technology.

In his speech, Dr. Guarte shared his humbling story of success that started with a scholarship opportunity provided to him by the then Visayas State College of Agriculture or ViSCA (now VSU).

“ViSCA financially provided my college education. Without it, I don’t know if I can pursue and finish a degree. ViSCA also gave me the opportunity to work here and it helped me obtain another scholarship that allowed me to pursue my graduate studies abroad. That’s why I will be forever grateful to VSU,” the outgoing CET Dean explained.

In the same speech, Dr. Guarte highlighted his future vision for CET that he expects the new Dean will vigorously pursue through the help of the next generation of faculty members of the college.

“We need to continue the important work to internationalize our existing programs. Competition is now more intense throughout the country and in the entire world so we have to be united. And I trust that Ma’am Jannet can realize our collective dream through your enabling support,” Dr. Guarte said.

In response, Dr. Jannet C. Bencure, expressed her desire to continue the great work started by Dr. Guarte.

“The bar set by Dr. Guarte is way too high but I’m equally privileged and honored to accept the responsibilities along with the challenges as the new Dean of this great college. I’m confident that with the help of all of you being valuable assets of CET including the support of the university, and the enabling guidance of God almighty, we can elevate this college to a higher pedestal. We can do this by increasing our productivity in terms of research and development including extension services of the college,” the new Dean shared.

The simple turnover ceremony was held on the afternoon of July 16, 2021 at the Function Hall of the CET Annex Building.

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