CDU continues efforts to gain global recognition as it turns 50 this year

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As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Cebu Doctors’ University eyes expansion to make a bigger difference and achieve its vision of becoming a globally recognized health- and service-oriented educational institution with the highest standards of transformative practice.

University President Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal said he wants the University to become global even as he bared plans to offer new courses applying the proven CDU formula. “We can make a difference not only in health-related courses but in other courses, so we can make a greater difference,” he said.

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Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) President Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal.

The University has gone a long way since Dr. Potenciano Veloso Larrazabal Jr. opened the College of Nursing (then School of Nursing) in October 1973 to serve the need of the Cebu Doctors Hospital for nurses.

CDU’s oldest employee, Mr. Bayani B. Patiluna, who started working at the registrar’s office, witnessed how the university grew. He recalled that the School of Nursing had between 200 and 300 students. He had initiated the creation of a university basketball team called CDU White Stallions that had become champion three times. He also taught computer classes as part-time instructor. He recalled that the university started accepting foreign students in 1980.

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Mr. Bayani B. Patiluna, CDU’s oldest employee.

He added that the University first held classes at the current building at Mandaue Reclamation in May 2007.

Mr. Patiluna has retired from regular employment with the University but is retained as consultant assigned to the Registrar’s Office for the College of Medicine. He also continues to teach computer and informatics at the CDU Graduate School.

To address the shortage of doctors, Dr. Potenciano V. Larrazabal Jr. then established the College of Arts and Sciences in 1975, offering the BS Biology program, as a preparatory course for medicine and subsequently established the College of Medicine on April 21, 1977.

Other courses followed: Graduate School (1980), College of Dentistry (1980), College of Optometry (1980), College of Allied Medical Services 1982, College of Rehabilitative Sciences (1992), College of Pharmacy (2004) and Senior High School (2016).

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University owners and executives leads the opening of the exhibit, which is part of the series of activities of the 50th founding anniversary of CDU at the CDU Campus. From left: Dr. Stanley Clark M. Dipay, CDU VP for Administration; Dr. Enrico B. Gruet, CDU VP for Academic Affairs; Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal, Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) President and Chairman of the Board; Mrs. Zenaida S.D. Larrazabal, CDU Board Secretary; Mrs. Bettina Anne Larrazabal-Veloso, CDU VP for Finance and Dr. Marinela Teresa Larrazabal-Carcel, CDU Board of Director.

With its expansion plans, CDU continues to pursue its mission of upholding the highest standards of education that is rooted in the University’s shared values of wellness, integrity, service, and excellence in the attainment of the individual’s full potential through the embodiment of a ‘transformative culture.’

The University, however, is still doing research on what other courses CDU will offer but their goal is to bring the quality education it is known for to the new courses.

To achieve this goal, the University will continue to upgrade its facilities and get certifications not only from local but international certifying bodies for all its courses.

Cebu Doctors’ University plans to get higher levels of accreditation from the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).

“My goal is to have all courses accredited,” he said.  Aside from getting local accreditation, the University is also seeking ISO accreditation.

CDU’s College of Nursing was granted Level III status by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) last year. It is the first College of Nursing in Cebu and 2nd in Region VII to have been granted this level of accreditation.

The University’s Doctor of Medicine program has been granted by PAASCU a three-year accreditation until 2025.

The University will also pursue more international affiliations with other schools and hospitals. “Our vison is to be globally recognized,” Dr. Larrazabal said.

Over the years, the University has been able to offer courses, most of which are among the top five or top 10 courses in the Philippines. “All of the courses we offer are of excellent quality,” Larrazabal pointed out.

In the past, he said, one had to go to Manila to get quality education but currently CDU students are assured of quality education. “In fact, we have some students now coming from Manila.”

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From left: Mrs. Bettina Anne Larrazabal-Veloso, CDU VP for Finance; Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal, Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) President and Chairman of the Board; Dr. Enrico B. Gruet, CDU VP for Academic Affairs and Dr. Stanley Clark M. Dipay, CDU VP for Administration.

The University has an in-campus dorm, which has a curfew, for out-of-town and foreign students to assure parents of the safety of the students.

The structure being constructed beside the existing building will enable CDU to achieve its expansion plans. The building, which will have 15 levels and can be upgraded to 17, will include six levels of parking with 1,200 slots, laboratories, gym and multipurpose area as well as jogging paths at the top. It will house the administrative offices and at the ground floor, the outpatient services such as optometry, rehabilitation, dentistry, radiology and outpatient laboratory.

“Our senior students will be manning it (outpatient services) with the guidance of our faculty.”

The new building, which will also feature basketball & badminton courts, will be named PVL building, in honor of the University founder.

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Deans from the different colleges of Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) together with the CDU President and Chairman of the Board Dr. Philip Anthony S.D. Larrazabal (center).  They were present during the CDU’s 50th Founding Anniversary Opening Salvo last January 31, 2023.

To celebrate its 50th founding anniversary which has the theme “CDU @50: Providing Transformative Healthcare Education,” the university will be having monthly activities with a grand celebration towards the end of the year.

The celebration’s opening salvo was held on January 31, 2023 at the CDU North Atrium with the ribbon cutting and opening of the exhibit of the university’s history through the years.

Looking towards the future, Cebu Doctors University will continue to pursue its shared values – the acronym WISE stands for Wellness, Integrity, Service and Excellence.