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UNC’s Captain and Commander-in-Chief is a Woman: Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya

The University of Nueva Caceres is the first University in Bicol and Southern Luzon, founded in 1948 in Naga City by an exceptional Bicolano visionary, Dr. Jaime Hernandez. This February, ushering us into our 74th Foundation Anniversary and drumbeating our Diamond Jubilee come 2023, is our Captain and Commander-in-Chief, our beloved University President, Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya.

Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya is a masterful educator, academic achiever, seasoned researcher, brilliant communicator, exceptional leader, the two-term President of Bicol University, and the fourth President of the University of Nueva Caceres. She relishes the singular honor to have led two premier institutions: in the past, the first state university, and at present the first private University in Bicol.

President Fay was born on April 13, 1958 in Daraga Albay. She finished Magna Cum Laude in Bachelor of Science in Economics at the Aquinas University in 1980. She earned her Master’s Degree in Management in 1989 and Ph.D. in Development Management in 1998 in Bicol University. She was an American Field Scholar in Gendive, Montana, USA.

Dr. Lauraya is rightfully esteemed as a towering figure in institutional educational management. Recently, she was elected Vice President of the Bicol Foundation for Higher Education (BFHE), the regional association of all Higher Education Institutions, both public and private Colleges and Universities in Bicol. She was President of BFHE from 2008 to 2015 until the end of her term as BU President. Earlier, she served as the Lead Person for the Institutional Development and Innovation Grants CHED K-12 Transition Program Management Unit (2016–2018).

A Lady Leader and Difference-Maker

As the 7th President of Bicol University (2007- 2015), Dr. Lauraya steered the University towards unprecedented excellence and maintaining the highest level of performance for SUCs. She blazed the trail in establishing the BU College of Medicine, the Institute of Architecture, and pioneered programs such as the BS in Meteorology, BS Mining Engineering, BS in Geodetic Engineering, and BS Industrial Design. According to Dr. Lauraya, a President’s task is a highly demanding job that requires you to be physically and mentally at the prime of your life. President Lauraya became the youngest President of BU as she rose from the ranks as Instructor, Program Head, Dean, and Vice-President before she was elected to the Presidency.

Dr. Lauraya is an advocate of participatory governance and introduced many initiatives that promote the welfare of employees and faculty. Her learnings inspired this as Faculty President of the Bicol University Union of Faculty Association and the National Faculty President of the Philippine National Confederation of Faculty Associations in State Universities and Colleges (PNCFASUC). She was former Department Head of Entrepreneurship Program where she introduced many innovations following the “Learning While Doing and Earning While Learning” concepts. She organized the Entrepreneurship Alumni Development Cooperative, which emerged as a multi-awarded cooperative from a meager capitalization of P12,000 pesos and has grown into a multi-million cooperative enterprise.

With massive leadership achievements, Dr. Lauraya functioned in the following significant capacities: President, Bicol Foundation for Higher Education (BFHE); Chairperson, Bicol Consortium for Agriculture Resources, Research and Development (BCARRD); Regional Coordinator, Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM); and Chairperson, Regional Research Development Coordinating Council.

Propelling UNC as a Top University of Choice

Taking the Chief Executive Post of UNC in 2018, Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya took cognizance of the significance of UNC among the family of academic institutions of Bicol. As the first University in the region, President Lauraya is committed to propelling UNC as a top University of Choice, a reputation it rightly deserves. She has spearheaded the crafting of the road map to transform UNC into a University of the Future, aspiring to be an autonomous University. Seeing the need to invigorate UNC’s new direction, Dr. Lauraya has mobilized a participatory process to craft and launch UNC’s new vision in 2021: “To be the top University of Choice for Bicolanos everywhere. We will nurture our students through empowering outcome-based education to help them become purposeful, productive, and future-ready human beings who will contribute to the sustainable development of Bicol and better tomorrows for all.” We are marching with this mission: “To expand opportunities for every Bicolano everywhere and prepare them for a purposeful life, by providing empowering outcome-based education and a nurturing learning environment.”

Choosing to be a Future-Ready Outcome-Based Education Leader in the region, UNC focuses on impactful student outcomes and learning opportunities leading to employability and compelling careers for its graduates. Every graduate of UNC - from SHS to Graduate School benefits from international partnerships to bring about delightful and productive learning experiences leading to multiple qualifications of UNC graduates. These partnerships include Coursera and Linkedin as service providers of multiple credentials.

Obstacles of the pandemic are being transformed into opportunities to innovate flexible learning programs that suit UNC students’ learning needs and styles. Powered by NEO and Blackboard Learning Management platforms, UNC students enjoy the advantages of digital, collaborative, and Problem-Research Outcome-Based Education. The path for UNC Graduates as the most preferred in the region has been laid out through the Career and Placement Center. Setting up students towards employability is planned right at the beginning of their educational journey, culminating with an innovative Professional Employability Program during their last year in college.

Honoring the UNCean Heritage

The University of Nueva Caceres welcomes its 74th Foundation Anniversary this month, bannering the theme – UNC @ 74: Working for Change Through Future-ready and Impactful Student Outcomes. Dr. Fay Lauraya takes pride in the many milestones laboriously laid by UNC’s illustrious Forerunner, Founding Father, and First President Dr. Jaime Hernandez Sr. The indelible names of her outstanding predecessors, the second and third Presidents - Dr. Dolores H. Sison and Mr. Alfredo I. Ayala, MBA, respectively are etched in the University’s heart and history.

President Lauraya invigorated the University by harnessing the full contribution of the University Academic Council and the President’s Executive Team. The Executive Team of the President, called simply as Leadership Team acts as the key advisory team of the President, composed of Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Romeo M. Sumayo Jr.; Vice President for Research, Extension, and Linkages, Dr. Nora Elizabeth F. Maniquiz; Vice President for Administration and Auxiliary Services, Engr. Leon B. Palmiano IV; Assistant Vice President for Finance, Mr. Joseph J. Mendoza II; University Registrar, Dr. Felisa L. Sabaupan; Talent Management Director, Prof. Divinagracia L. David; and Admissions, Marketing and Strategic Communications Office Director, Prof. Ruby L. Bandola. President Fay relies on her team to deliver the fulfillment of the University’s goals and priorities following UNC’s Core Values: Champion Excellence, Do the Right Things Right, Nurture Dreams, Be Dynamic and Creative, and Respect Each Other and Work as a Team.

As the steward, the UNC community stands behind her, ready to go to great lengths to follow their woman President’s lead. With her at the helm, UNC is future-ready. Inspired by Jim Collin’s book, President Fay says UNC is built to last. Being a woman President of two leading Universities is nothing short of legendary. It is never about being lucky; It is about being ready to respond to a noble calling to serve.


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