By Ali G. Macabalang
The new chancellor of the Mindanao State University-Maguindanao campus is pushing for strong teamwork among MSU field campuses and their mother unit to flesh out the university system’s mission in integrating the southern Philippines Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities into the national mainstream through instruction, research, and extension services.
Dr. Hejira Sinsuat-Limbona, in virtual chats with the Philippine Muslim Today news, said she will “start with flagship programs on agriculture, fisheries and forestry” she deemed “basic’ in her campus located in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry alongside Community Development constituted the first focal courses offered in the MSU-Maguindanao campus in its inaugural operations in 1973 with just seven faculty members, 126 students and 15 administrative staff workers.
The MSU-Maguindanao was founded on Oct. 10, 1973 pursuant to the university system’s Board of Regents (BOR) Resolution No.821 series of 1973. Its classes were held at the grandstand of Dalican (Poblacion) Pilot Elementary School. However, in 1975, all school facilities were razed by fire. Dinaig former mayor Datu Odin Sinsuat promptly donated partly and sold his 55-hectare property, which serves as the campus’ present-day site.
Currently, the campus offers 17 baccalaureate programs, five graduate programs and six Diploma courses in eight academic units: Graduate School, Colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Education, Public Affairs and Governance, and Fisheries, and an Integrated Laboratory Science High School.
Married to incumbent Maguindanao provincial Board Member Jojo Limbona, Dr. Hejira was sworn in by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero De Vera last December after a stiff selection cum election process that also covered elders in the academe.
Prior to appointment as 4th chancellor of the field campus, Dr. Limbona served as vice chancellor for administration and finance.
The MSU-Maguindanao campus was first administered by Bai Yasmin Sinsuat-Macalandong as founding chancellor who was succeeded by her late husband Rolly Macalandong. Dr. Hejira is the daughter of the first two chancellors, it was learned. Her immediate processor was Dr. Soraya Sinsuat, her aunt.
Supporters said Dr. Limbona would want to replicate the swift progress of the MSU-General Santos City satellite now administered by Dr. Anshari P. Ali, who rose from academe against the setback of being orphaned in early age.
A few days upon appointment, Chancellor Limbona paid a visit to the MSU-GenSan campus in what she described as her initial effort to “benchmark” with counterparts to build a strong teamwork for the whole university system.
The MSU-Gensan campus is “geographically convenient,” she said. AGM