23 July 2008


What started to be a noble legacy may now end up as an auction piece.

University of Iloilo--founded by brothers Don Eugenio and Don Fernando Lopez in 1947 with the altruistic intentions of making college education affordable for poor and middle-class Ilonggo families--is now ready to be handed over to its new owner this year.

"UI isn't just for sale; it's actually sold
already," said one school employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The "winning bidder" is reportedly a group of companies based in
Metro Manila.

"It's not
Lucio Tan," the UI employee clarified, discounting earlier rumors of an impending takeover by the Tan Group of Companies under the Chinese-Filipino tycoon, who also owns the University of the East.

"We heard though that he was indeed interested at first, but later changed his mind," she said. "It might be that the Lopezes were asking too much for UI."

The true reasons behind the buyout still remain a mystery, however.

According to insider sources, while UI
hardly rakes in profits from school fees (it being one of the lesser expensive private schools in Iloilo City), it is very far from bankruptcy, even up to this writing.

With the change of management, a major revamp is naturally expected to affect the incumbent top officials of UI, from the university president down to the college deans and department heads.

Still, the students are the ones who will receive the much bigger impact of the takeover, whether positive or otherwise.

"We still hope it will benefit the students," said the school employee, who hinted that the new management would "import" lecturers from top Metro Manila universities to assist the local faculty by handling some subjects.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear whether or not the school will retain its 40-year-old name (Iloilo City Colleges became University of Iloilo on 17 December 1968), its official logo (which was reportedly designed by Don Eugenio and Don Fernando Lopez themselves), its course offerings, and its current admission requirements, among others.

Whatever the new-generation Lopezes' reasons are for letting an old family legacy go, both employees and students of UI hope they are well-mea
ning enough and not just because they needed moolah to splurge for trips abroad, parties, wheels, and bling-bling.

UPDATE: The University of Iloilo now has a new owner. Read more about it here.


Mia said...

It's sad, really, to let something as traditional to the family as this school has been.

Well, whatever their reasons are, this new thing should be looked at from a positive angle. The new management could bring in fresh ideas and possibly totally revolutionalize the school. Fresh blood would mean change, and the good kind is what people need here, from what i've heard. There is probably no need to feel defensive. Change is good, change keeps things from getting boring and mediocre.

anything new from the side of the lopezes?

Anonymous said...

it is a sad thing to hear selling our alma mater to buyer from manila.
all alumni who graduated from ui
all these years; can chip in to buy it from the lopezes.
why they did not asked the opinion of the rest of us?
i also want a piece of my dearest alma mater. thanks