UP Open University

UPOU to Hold Investiture of Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria



Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria began her post as the 4th Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) last 29 February 2016 succeeding Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso who led the university for three terms. On 30 July 2016, her investiture will mark a new era for the institution with her vision toward openness and increasing access to quality education. Hon. Alfredo E. Pascual, President of the University of the Philippines, will officiate the event. The occasion will also be in time for the 20th Commencement Exercises of the university with more than 300 graduates.


Dr. Bandalaria brings over 21 years of academic leadership and experience in Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL). Her leadership in the next three years will affirm the institutions leadership in ODeL. Through ODeL, she hopes to serve the Filipino lifelong learners by enabling their socio-economic transformation, thereby contributing to the countrys progress and to the sustainable development goals.


Dr. Bandalaria started in UPOU as a University Researcher and Assistant to the Dean of School for Distance Education Los Baños. In 2001, she served as the Director of the Office of Student Administration and was subsequently appointed as University Registrar from 2001 to 2010 where she served office for nine years. Prior to becoming the 4th Chancellor, Dr. Bandalaria served as the Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) for two terms.


As an accomplished researcher and scholar, Dr. Bandalaria has worked on 18 major research activities in teaching and learning strategies as well as in ODeL. She was able to present 43 papers in academic fora and conferences, published eight articles in technical journals, four book chapters and two popular articles.


A staunch advocate of democratizing access to quality education for the vulnerable sectors of the society, her public service work involved six UPOU projects including the Massive Open Distance eLearning courses, the Community eCenter Program of the Philippines, Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign in the Philippines and the i-Pinay, which enhances participation, digital literacy and development of women and their communities.


Through her vision, she plans to usher in the affordances of ODeL and capitalize on the foundations that the institution has started. To accomplish this, Dr. Bandalarias plans will push for more openness and sharing by promoting equity in access to education and multiple paths to learning. Her leadership also aims to codify the quality assurance framework of ODeL, increase student population and course and program completion rates, develop learner support system appropriate for ODeL and increase student and alumni participation in student activities. Her planned efforts to enrich the manpower of the institution involve achieving administrative efficiency and promoting staff welfare through good work life balance. Dr. Bandalaria envisions substantially influencing and harnessing the potential of partnership and linkages as well as improving the universitys information and communication system.



Dr. Bandalaria earned her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Major in Agronomy at the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1982, and went to earn her Master of Science in Development Communication in the same institution in 1995. She returned to the university to finish her PhD in Development Communication by 2001. Dr. Bandalaria received the UPOU Faculty Grant Award and Professorial Chair Award in 2009 and 2012 respectively. In 2013, she was awarded the UPOU Gawad Chancellor sa Natatanging Guro and the following year she became the recipient of the UPLB Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award and College of Development Communication Outstanding Alumni Award.