Playing with Fire

Autonomous status for LNU

By Gonzalo Duque

WE at Lyceum Northwestern University are hoping and praying that we would be granted autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) soon. This would certainly be a big boon to us, our faculty members and our students. It will be a testimony to our unrelenting efforts to bring about quality education for our students in our beloved province and region. 

We applied for this status as we are convinced that through our excellent performance in research as well as in extension work we can already graduate from a deregulated to an autonomous university.

This will certainly add to the many academic accolades that we have received in our journey in education since LNU was founded in 1969.

In case if you do not know it yet, a deregulated university status means that the school granted this enjoys certain privileges but not full privileges. An autonomous university, on the other hand, enjoys full privileges with less supervision and control from CHEd.

I hope we can make it to make our 50th founding year truly memorable. 

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We would like the accreditation to come before our Founder’ Day on September 2, which is the birthday of our father, the late Dr. Francisco Q. Duque Jr., former governor of Pangasinan and health secretary when Diosdado Macapagal was president of the Philippines.  

Dr. Paco was the first president of LNU with our mother, Dr. Florencia Tiongson Duque succeeding him. Our Kuya Ado (Dr. Salvador Duque) was the third LNU president.  

I was the fourth LNU president after Kuya Ado and only succeeded 18 years after by Dr. Pincoy Duque, who left the post when he was tapped by Presidente Duterte to be the president of GSIS and later as secretary of health.

I can say it with pride that it was during our presidency that the once Lyceum-Northwestern College became Lyceum Northwestern University. By the way, this happened when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the president. 

Pincoy, the fifth LNU president, was health secretary under GMA before he was named chairman of the Civil Service Commission. 

Our sister Dr. Luz T. Hammershaimb is now the sixth LNU president. She left an enviable medical career and a high-paying job in an American pharmaceutical company in Philadephia, USA just to share her talents in molding the minds of the students of LNU.

The others in the family, Dr. Nieva T. Duque, Dr. Grace T. Duque, Cristina T. Duque, Cesar T. Duque, Dr. Marco S. Duque, of course, will welcome the change of status of our university from deregulated to autonomous one with much jubilation and excitement if the CHEd grants our prayer.

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I can say with pride that the second generation of the Duques served well as LNU presidents in different times. I wonder what will happen in the future.

What I am worried about now is the third generation from our clan who will take over from us when we all may have been gone.

For now, Dr. Marco S. Duque, the eldest the son of Kuya Ado, is now being trained to succeed as LNU president.

Ditto with our son, Cesar ‘Nanoy’ Duque who is leaving for the US for his training, not only as a minister of the Federation of Church Athletes, a religious ministry of which he is the regional director, but also for his training in financial management preparatory to a bigger role he will play at LNU.

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Despite his cuss words which Bishop Soc dislikes, President Duterte is a good president who made things work for this country. Now its economy is soaring and is regarded as the fastest growing economy not only in Asia but all over the world.

Despite the reference to Digong by some Catholic priests as a “satan guiding us all to hell”, many actually see Digong as the personification of Joshua who led the Israelites to the Promised Land.       

Many people actually regard him as the anointed one who will lead his people to get on with their lives under the atmosphere of peace, security, progress and justice.

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