Underwood looks back at his time at UOG - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Underwood looks back at his time at UOG

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 3:23 PM Updated:

All week long we've heard from the four finalists vying to be his successor. Now, we hear from Dr. Robert Underwood himself. For the past ten years, the former member of the U.S. Congress and longtime educator served as president for the University of Guam. Here's what he had to say at his retirement party, hosted by the UOG Endowment Foundation.

He's carried plenty of reputable job titles, but his favorite. "At the end of the day people always ask me what I am. And I always tell them I'm a teacher and I use that word in a very deliberate sense," said Underwood. "I'm a teacher that's how I am. That's what I like to do. I like to teach. And no matter what I'm doing, I'm always thinking I'm teaching."

Underwood has been the 10th president of the University of Guam, and said, "When I became president of the university, of course I had been politicking. I thought I'd just try it out." Fast forward a decade and he bids adios to the Home of the Tritons, saying, "It's really time to move on."

Though it's speculated he's closing this chapter to return to public service, he won't confirm just yet. He does, however, have this to say: "I share this with people who are in elected office, people who are in elected office get exaggerated blame they get blamed for things they have nothing to do with. But I always tell people in elected office, if you don't like the exaggerated blame, don't accept the exaggerated praise. Because you get a lot of exaggerated praise. Wow, this has been the best ten years at UOG? Really? I don't know. It was good for me!"

Whatever's next for this former Member of the U.S. Congress, he says he'll remain true to his mother's legacy. As you might've guessed, she too, was a teacher. "I always looked for the students who needed my help. Who needed my intercession," he said.

He officially retires from the helm of UOG on June 30. "Something magical happens there. Lives are transformed. People believe in themselves. People believe in the power of education. I tell people and teachers, I said that we believe in the perfectability of people. We don't believe that people will be perfect. We just believe that they can become better. That's why we're an educational institution 2610 that's why I'm at UOG. That's why we say 'Biba UOG!'"

It's now up to the Board of Regents to name the 11th President of the University of Guam.

As we've been reporting, the four finalists are Dr. Thomas Krise, Dr. Anita Borja Enriquez, Dr. Bruce Murphy, and Dr. Ronald Larsen.

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