A new Dean formally took over this morning at the law school: Professor Salvador Carlota, “Buddy” to his friends, “sir”, to us his former students (even those who are now teaching in law school).
His was the first oathtaking for a dean I attended since I started teaching in law school in 1995 because the previous officeholder and I never saw eye to eye and I didn’t bother to show up at his two oathtakings. He (the previous officeholder) didn’t show up at the oathtaking, something I expected from him (perhaps he’s now in Italy, licking his wounds to a magnificent view). His wife (also a law professor) did though (I thought that was big of her), albeit she came in late and after Dean Carlota took his oath already—she was warmly welcomed by everyone there, though I wasn’t sure if there was reciprocity but, well,. . .you can’t have everything.
I was gratified though to see a large number of faculty members who showed up this morning for his oathtaking, even those who ran against him were there. I was even more gratified to see Dean Carlota pulling faculty members who were “estranged” or “not speaking to each other” towards each other and asking them to publicly shake hands with each other and telling them, “hey, X, say hi to to Y. O, ayos na tayo ha?” It set a good tone for his tenure; when I commented on his doing that, he just said, “this may be a new item in my job description. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Children of God.”
I didn’t support his candidacy because I supported someone else; I never opposed his candidacy though, even as I opposed the previous officeholder’s bid for a prohibited third term. Dean Carlota has always been someone people respect, even if his views may be somewhat uber-conservative and his lectures (in and out of the classroom) long. Dean Carlota has always had my respect because he is conscientious, diligent, dedicated and very honest; his integrity is intact. He’s not flashy and his lifestyle shows it; his car, for the longest time, was a broken down Opel which had more rust than paint. When that broke down, he borrowed back his daughter’s car—a hand me down from him—an orange late 80’s Lancer which is also showing its age.
I hope Dean Carlota’s good witnessing in this aspect pervades the law school. I also hope the atmosphere this morning continues during his tenure as Dean and that some much-needed changes may finally happen.
God bless you, Dean Carlota (and your family, Professor Daisy, Pebbles and Rocky); Godspeed ahead.