First chancellor of UP Cebu: Atty. Liza D. Corro

Prof. Sofia Aliño-Logarta’s column in Cebu Daily News/

When Liza became the dean of UP Cebu, she declared that she actually wanted this position of leadership. Such simple directness was very refreshing.
In this beginning, she had set her task clearly: “to generate resources for expansion plans and to transform UP Cebu into a vibrant and dynamic institution of higher learning.”
UP Cebu had actually been working to become a constituent unit of UP. This would mean greater autonomy in formulating its vision and mission as well as more freedom in the management of its resources. Its faculty and staff would then have first priority in availing of grants and other opportunities, instead of having to wait for those in the mother unit. But of course, this was also very demanding in terms of meeting the requirements of a constituent unit. This was the major challenge which Atty. Liza Corro confronted head on.

Her many achievements actually changed UP Cebu not only physically but also in spirit. When I arrived for the investiture, I immediately sensed the good morale among the faculty and staff. This is not surprising because their administrator had been appreciated as an outstanding president of Rotary’s Gloria Maris — all-female Rotary Chapter. She had been an effective president of the UP Law Alumni Association. As president of the UP Alumni Association Cebu Chapter, she was among those who institutionalized “Tatak UP” to give recognition to Cebu-based UP graduates. When she was president of the Federacion International de Abogadas (FIDA), she sat in the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission; she suggested that something be done about women arrested for petty crimes and suffering in jail. She became president of the Legal Alternatives for Women Center, (LAW) Inc. when the organization was troubled with many challenges. She faced them serenely and used the law to the maximum in dealing with the concerns, and so LAW Center, Inc. transcended these problems.

In one of his visits to UP Cebu, then UP president Alfredo Pascual said that he hoped that UP would model good governance and effective management. I believe that Atty. Liza had adopted such an objective. In her investiture speech as she looked back at her performance in the past, she narrated how she worked to erase the stereotype of a government functionary. She exerted effort to speed up processes and used her knowledge of the law to move confidently and efficiently with her duties.

Together with the endeavor to establish professionalism in the unit’s operations, there is the adherence to UP’s principles of leadership in academic instruction and research always with consideration of community service in the various transformations that have been introduced.

After settling down in front of the library, I viewed on the TV screen our colleagues who were in different continents, with greetings and gratitude for the event’s honoree for she had been very instrumental in providing them with these opportunities for professional growth.

UP Cebu, the eighth constituent unit of our national university, and the Cebu community are blessed to have an inspired and inspiring first chancellor. Like Mother Teresa whom she quoted, she will do good no matter what!