By NITZ ARANCON
JESUIT priest Roberto Yap has been named as the next president of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).
Fr. Yap, currently president of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, would assume his new post June 1 next year.
Yap would replace Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, himself a former Xavier president.
The information came from Ernesto Tanmantiong, chairman of the board of trustees of ADMU, through an Aug. 6 letter sent to Xavier community.
Tanmantiong said the ADMU board decided to choose Yap just this Aug. 3.
Reads part of Tanmantiong’s letter: “His (Yap’s) term as president of Ateneo de Manila shall begin on 1 June 2020, after the third term of Father Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJ, is over.”
The decision to choose Yap, according to Tanmantiong, was made after a period of “search and discernment” by the ADMU trustees.
Yap has accepted the appointment and has informed the Xavier community about it through an Aug. 6 memorandum.
“I accepted the election as my new Jesuit mission. Always on mission, only for mission, Jesuits go where they are sent,” said Yap who would be serving his 9th year as Xavier president on March 31, 2020.
The search for Yap’s successor has yet to start. Yap said a search committee would be formed during XU board of trustees’ Sept. 7 meeting.
“I will make sure that the Centennial Strategic Plan we are currently formulating, will be completed, before May 2020,” he said.
Yap said he would also submit the reports about the stakeholders’ consultation for the planned new campus projects as requested by Rome-based Jesuit superior general Arturo Sosa. He said if Sosa gives the green light, he would immediately start the detailed planning.
Yap holds a doctorate on environmental economics given by the University College of London, a master’s degree in economics from The New School for Social Research in New York City, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.
The Jesuit priest holds an Economics degree from ADMU, graduating with honors (cum laude) in 1980. He received his master’s degree on Theology in 1992. He has also served as Society of Jesus Province treasurer, province assistant for the social apostolate, and associate director of the John J Caroll Institute on Church and Social Issues. He taught Economics at ADMU.