Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, CHED Commissioner and Chair of the VSU Board of Regents, served as the Investiture Speaker during the installation of Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin as 6th VSU President on January 27, 2016 at the VSU Gymnatorium. 

In her investiture address, Dr. Bautista underscored that the investiture of the president of a university is indeed a cause for celebration because of the hoped-for promise of strong leadership, one that is visionary, purposeful or mission-oriented, wilful in implementing plans yet grounded enough in the unique reality of the institution he leads to iterate and shift gears as demanded. “The collective aspiration of a university with each change of leadership is for the opportunities opened by such occasion to build on the legacies of the last president that strengthen the foundations of a university,” she exhorted.

Commissioner Bautista stressed the importance of strong leadership in higher education institutions, especially in light of the ASEAN Economic Community and the demand to catch up with neighbors who have left this country behind.  Bautista disclosed that Philippines was once a center of higher education in Asia but it has been eroded from being a center of higher education in the 1960s and even up to the early 1980s to falling in the second tier of countries along various indicators of scientific output with Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand being in the first tier, and the Philippines falling behind Vietnam and Indonesia in the second tier, with Indonesia and Vietnam changing ranks depending on the year and institutions doing the ranking but the Philippines keeping its position as the last country in the second tier. sa

This is the full text of Dr. Bautista’s investiture address:

In light of these challenges to higher education, we need leaders who can implement critical reforms—sometimes unpopular but necessary like the transition to     K to 12 and the shift to learner outcomes-based qualifications within the Philippine Qualifications Framework that will be referenced to the ASEAN Qualifications Framework in 2018—to ensure that our graduates will have the competencies to maximize opportunities that a free ASEAN education and labor market and a globalized economy can offer. But we are not only thinking here of the overseas employment of the young Filipinos under our care but more importantly of their competencies for agriculture, technology, various services and industries that will move our people out of poverty and enable the nation to catch up with neighbors it once surpassed.

At this juncture, VSU needs a leader who can help the University maximize its comparative advantage in agriculture and the branches of knowledge within its ambit, transform its weaknesses into strengths, and steer the University towards becoming one of the best in the country, the ASEAN region and the world.

As one of the three Zonal Agricultural Universities of the Philippines, VSU has been entrusted not only with the duty of ensuring the quality of education we give our students, but also with the burden of leadership in agriculture and other fields. We look at VSU to steer our country’s agriculture sector towards excellence by producing a deep bench of experts and innovators whose researches translate into key policies and programs necessary to create a vibrant agriculture that is the bedrock of sustainable economic development and food security. We look at VSU too for leadership in the natural, social and health sciences as well as applied fields and its contribution to social and human development. We are most certain that VSU will not disappoint, not only because of its promise and potentials, but more importantly because I have staunch empirical evidence.

The individual and collective leadership of VSU has been outstanding. We deeply appreciate and admire its past presidents, more particularly Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo and his predecessors—Dr. Samuel S. Go and Dr. Paciencia P. Milan, all the way to President Fernando A. Bernardo who was often mentioned in many conversations in my graduate school days by ViSCA scholars—for painstakingly laying down the foundation of today’s Visayas State University. In fact, during the final interview in the selection of the VSU president, CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and I were exceedingly impressed by the quality of the candidates—VSU vice presidents all—who were vying to become the next President of VSU. Not only did they individually standout above most academics in the country and have proven leadership skills, they were all home-grown, showed genuine camaraderie and were united in their desire to raise VSU to new levels of excellence.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe this is an eloquent proof that the leadership of VSU has done something remarkable over the years.  It has produced and attracted accomplished men and women who are dedicated to help the University carry its mantle of leadership in agriculture and other fields from generation to generation. Now, the University is passing on the torch of leadership to its 6th University President, and it couldn’t have been passed on to more worthy hands than that of Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, the man I am honored to exalt today.

A Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardee, a scientist with a string of cited publications and patents for agricultural chemistry research, an esteemed mentor to students in VSU, and most importantly, a home-grown scholar remarkably packaged in a personable, humble, dignified, sensitive, gentle and simple exterior underlaid by a complex mind and deep sense of mission and humanity—a true servant leader indeed—President Tulin is the epitome of VSU’s core values: Relevance, Integrity, Truth, and Excellence. He is a proof that these core values are not lofty ideals but goals to which every person in VSU can aspire. Given his academic and scientific accomplishments, someone of Dr. Tulin’s calibre would not fall short of offers to leave VSU for work in greener pastures—a measure of success for the average Filipino. But he stayed. He continued to serve. Ladies and gentlemen, not only is Dr. Tulin’s heart in the right place. You have, as your University President, a man whose heart truly belongs to VSU, to you.

Under the watch of President Tulin, I am confident his linkages with local and international academic donors and institutions will help VSU gain further renown and the respect of national and ASEAN institutions. His personality and integrity will help VSU survive the daunting challenges ahead, of ensuring that the fundamentals of quality learning competency-based education are in place in order to enable its graduates to help lead our country, albeit belatedly into the 21st century.

Congratulations to VSU for having chosen presidents who squarely faced the challenges at different points in its history, for producing leaders undaunted by the hard work required to continue the virtuous cycle of sowing hope and reaping excellence. I have indirect knowledge of the provenance and evolution of VSU from the eyes of dear friends I either worked with in my youth or studied with in the US in the late 1970s and 1980s. I, therefore, have a sense of how much VSU has grown, flourished and thrived since its ViSCA days from its current reputation and from the high quality and dedication of its faculty and staff. I have been blessed, for instance, to have been assigned to Chair the VSU Board. Even its Board Secretary, Mr. Daniel M. Tudtud is outstanding, a primus inter pares of Board secretaries in intelligence, work ethic and uncompromising professionalism. But beyond the Board members I have interacted with and the friends I studied or worked with, I know for a fact that many of the faculty of SUCs such as Cavite State University and the Eastern Visayas State University graduated from ViSCA, now VSU.

May VSU continue to grow and be among the country and the region’s leading universities. May the learners that pass their walls thrive in the rapidly changing world of the 21st century! May they have the mind, heart and soul to help move our people out of poverty, develop this nation and enhance its competitiveness in the ASEAN Economic Community.

And to the president we are formally investing today, may our Lord bless you with abundant grace to implement the University’s plans and carry out its mission at this particular juncture!

May you have the gifts of detachment, laughter and lightness of being in trying times!

May you move from strength to strength in greater fulfilment of the purpose of the University. For as Mordecai told Esther in the Biblical Book of Esther, who knows but that your Maker gave you a solid track record and just enough credentials for the Mission of leading VSU at this time.

Like President Bacusmo before you, may you move on after your stint as president to carry out the other missions that will help you complete your spiritual growth and fulfil the purpose of your life!

And as they say in Star Wars, May the [Divine] Force be with you.

Mabuhay kayo President Tulin!

Mabuhay ang Visayas State University!


            Here are also some excerpts of the messages delivered by some dignitaries in honor of Dr. Tulin:

Hon. Carmen L. Cari

Mayor, City of Baybay City

The City of Baybay congratulates you on your acceptance and ascension to the presidency of the Visayas State University, the premier science and technology university in the Visayas.  We know you worked hard for this job; you deserved it and you have my great respect and admiration.  I would also like to congratulate your parents and siblings and your immediate family because no man, no matter how talented and hardworking, can truly succeed without the full support of the family.  And finally, kudos to the Visayas State University and its community of educators and students for choosing the right man to lead this University into the future.


            The City of Baybay is deeply appreciative of what Dr. Tulin has achieved and the VSU’s drive for relevance.  With this in mind, shall we work closer together in bringing the best service to all Baybayanons?

Hon. Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla

Governor, Province of Leyte

As read by Atty. Florante A. Cayunda, Jr., Board Member of Leyte…

Being a new leader to lead a big institution as the Visayas State University is such a big responsibility.  That great responsibility is very well-pronounced today in this highly respectable and formal event that shows not only of the duties the new president has in store for him ahead, but also the privilege it gives to lead such a mighty institution.

The Visayas State University has always been a big factor in the academic structure not only of the province of Leyte but of the whole region.  Many young individuals over the years have passed through its portals and have provided our province with reliable minds and workforce.

Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari

Congressman, 5th District of Leyte

As read by Atty. Florante A. Cayunda, Jr., Board Member of Leyte…

As president of a prestigious University, is indeed a great challenge.  But I have not a slightest doubt of the capability of our new president as could be gleaned from his previous exemplary performance.

So, as your Congressman of the 5th District of Leyte, it is my duty to support the plans and programs of VSU under the new and able leadership of Dr. Tulin for the best interest of not only the people of the 5th District of Leyte but also to our country in general.

Dr. Andresito D. Acabal


I have known Dr. Tulin as instructor, as adviser of the Chemical Society, as one of the adviser of the COCOFED scholars, as dormitory adviser, as thesis adviser, and as head of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Pres. Tulin, you are the ONE.  You are the single high quality product of synthesis involving three high-grade reagents and a reaction time of almost four decades.  You are a product that is so stable and multi-functional.  You are a product that can withstand adverse effect of both internal and external factors.  You have been synthesized from these three reactants or keywords: plan, discipline and execute.  Your ability to make adequate plans is unquestionable.  You are a man of discipline—physically, mentally, academically, socially, and spiritually.  Your ability to execute the most appropriate action in materializing your plans is unquestionable.

Mr. President, with our support, you can make Visayas State University more competitive and great.

Dr. Luz O. Moreno

President, VSU System Faculty Association

Indeed, this day is a memorable one and marks another milestone in the history of VSU as an institution whose ideals aim for excellence in instruction, research and extension.  The Faculty Federation strongly endorsed the presidency of Dr. Tulin, who is not only an academician, an outstanding researcher, a multi-awarded faculty, but also a person with a “HEART”.  The resume of Dr. Tulin speaks a lot about his achievements as an academician, researcher and administrator.  However, a good administrator is not only about his or her achievements, academic background nor professional competence but a good leader should have a character, integrity and the “HEART” which separates him from the rest…and we see these qualities in Dr. Tulin.  Being president of an institution like VSU is indeed an honor and carries with it a big responsibility.

President Tulin, Sir, the Faculty Federation hopes that you will foster and create an atmosphere of transparency and accountability in running the University.  Furthermore, we hope and pray that your plans for the University, especially in instruction, will materialize and will really be implemented.  The Faculty Federation will always uphold the ideals of what this institution stands for.  So, rest assured of our support and partnership with the administration. 

Dr. Remberto A. Patindol

VP for Administration and Finance

I am privileged to stand here and speak on behalf of the staff of VSU, to express our sincere and heartfelt congratulations to our University President, Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin.  We are filled with joy, knowing that the man chosen to lead VSU in its search for truth and quest for excellence is, in fact, a man of excellence, a man of integrity, wisdom and humility.  We find comfort in knowing that the man who will make important decisions for the University is sensitive to the needs and aspirations of its constituents, especially the lowly, less-known and under-privileged staff.

Mr. President, on behalf of the VSU staff, I offer you our words of congratulations, garnished with our commitment to serve you and the University, with all our heart, in the fast possible way. 

Deogracias E. Pernitez

President, VSU Alumni Association

The Alumni Association extends its wholehearted support and cooperation to the leadership of the presidency, most especially that Dr. Tulin was once the president of the Alumni Association.  We always pray for the realization of his plans and programs, of course in accordance with God’s will.

While the alumni is severely looking forward for the success of its Alma Mater, enough to be proud of, hence, we also need a president who is smart enough to know, strong enough to do, and sure enough to lead that could generate a strong support and inspire wholehearted cooperation among the players of the overall development of the Visayas State University.  May God be always with you.

Dexter P. Relevo

President, University Supreme Student Council

As we gather today to witness the investiture of our new University President, I can’t help but remember one famous saying of Lao Tzu and I quote “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize.  The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; and the third is humility, which keep me from putting myself before others.  Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”

I have known Dr. Tulin since last year and I believe he is an example of this saying.

We, the students of the Visayas State University, are hoping that during the term of Dr. Tulin he will be able to address the following concerns: to address the part where students will be able to learn freely without the hindrance of overcrowding, is to construct additional laboratory buildings and classrooms; enhancement and implementation of the University policies towards high quality education; and the student’s presence to the international community. 

To all the stakeholders of this institution, it’s time to work hand-in-hand.  Remember that VSU is not only an institution where we work, study or live but VSU is a home.  So, let’s help one another to create a better home for everyone.