Being the premier center learning in the province of Tarlac, the beginning of the
Tarlac State University (TSU) are synchronous with the beginning of public education
in this heartland of Central Luzon and the whole Philippines. The early and
dominant image of TSU among the people of Tarlac was its being a trade school, and
its origin as such could be traced to as early as 1906, when the director of public
instruction mandated the offering of intermediate grades and selected areas in the
country to cater to industrial and vocational courses.
In 1909, under the auspices of the provincial government and the Provincial High
School, this school begun to in secondary students in its fold. By 1921, it had
evolved into a full secondary school. In 1931, the trade school was annexed to Tarlac
High School during the principal ship of Russel Taylor – a status it maintained
until he onset and the end of the Second World War.
In 1946, immediately after the war, Tarlac Trade School was officially separated
from the Tarlac High School, with the appointment of Manuel T. Espinosa as its principal.
More than a decade later, in 1959, the Congress of the Philippines approved House
Bill 1006, jointly sponsored by Congressmen Constancio Castaneda and Jose Roy, converting
Tarlac Trade School into Tarlac School of Arts and Trades (TSAT); with Mr. Espinosa
also becoming its first Superintendent. As a nationalized academic institution,
TSAT began to Offer collegiate technical education courses in the province.
In 1965, through the passage of Republic Act 4337, TSAT acquired its full-fledged
status as a college, the Tarlac College of Technology (TCT). Among other provisions,
the law called for the merging of TSAT with Tarlac National Agricultural School
in Camiling, Tarlac. Dr. Mario Manese was appointed as its first president (1965-1972),
who introduced the courses teacher education and engineering.
Prof. Jack Smith replaced Dr. Manese in 1972 as TCT President. It was his early
tenure when Presidential Decree 609 was mandated in 1974, which instructed the separation
of TCT from its agricultural component, which became the present Tarlac College
of Agriculture in Camiling. Smith’s lengthy stay in TCT saw its expansion as a state
college, particularly with the acquisition of a 10-hectare lot in Barrios Ungot
and Maliwalo that came to be known as Lucinda Campus and which eventually became
the site of the Laboratory School and various agro-industrial projects of the institution.
In 1976, the TCT organized the Graduate School with academic programs leading to
the degrees of Master of Arts in Education, with majors in Guidance in Counseling
and Educational Management. In 1978, the TCT set-up degree programs in Master of
Public Administration, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and the revised
two-year Trade Technical Education, and in 1983, the Bachelors of Science in Architecture
and Elementary Education.
Dr. Ernesto Cosme was designated Officer-in-Charge in September 1984, eventually
becoming TCT’s third and last president. It was during his administration that R.A.
6764was signed into law by then President Corazon C. Aquino on October 13, 1989,
converting TCT into Tarlac State University (TSU); thereby serving as its acting
president. The conversion was made possible through the sponsorship of Tarlac’s
three congressional district congressmen namely, Jose Cojuangco Jr., Jose Yap and
Hermie Aquino. Dr. Cosmes’s stay in both the TCT and TSU saw the further expansion
of the physical structure and academic programs. Modern buildings rose on the 1.2
hectare Main Campus and the 10 hectare Lucinda Campus. Additional programs were
opened, such as Doctor of Education Management in Consortium with the Technological
University of the Philippines (TUP), Bachelor in Secondary Education, Bachelor of
Science and Accountancy, Business Administration major in Entrepreneurship, Chemistry,
and Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences.
On August 08, 1990, the TSU Board of Regents appointed Dr. Alejandro Fernandez.
Then Professor of Political Science and Ninoy Aquino Professor of Development in
the University of the Philippines, as the first president of TSU. During this time,
TSU was able to acquire its more than eight hectares for a third campus in San Isidro
under a 50year lease contract with the provincial government. Upon the end of the
term of Dr. Fernandez, Graduate School Dean of Dr. Priscillla Viuya, was appointed
as OIC of TSU effective February 28 up to mid-September 1994.
On September 14, 1994, TUP Professor Dr. Rodolfo Baking, was appointed by the BOR
as the second president of the University. Like his predecessors, his administrative
policies were geared towards the upgrading of academic standard and the offering
of curricular programs that will cater to the development needs of the government
and the private sector. Unfortunately Dr. Baking was not able to finish his term.
On December 5, 1996, the Board designated Academic Affairs vice president Dr. Dolores
G. Matias as OIC. A OIC, she steered the University into attaining its visions and
missions of offering relevant quality education to the people of Tarlac and its
neighboring provinces. During her incumbency, the Graduate School and College of
Business and Accountancy attained level two accreditation while the Colleges of
Arts and Sciences and Education attained level one accreditation. The College of
Engineering, which already had a level one accreditation, was proposed for the next
level accreditation. The Colleges of Technology and Architecture were readied to
undergo the same process. During this time, passing average in the board examination
of the graduates improved. Other courses were opened like B.S. in Computer Science,
Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Doctor of public Administration. The Ed. D. major in
I.E.M. was continued to be offered by the University on its own, now without the
consortium, while another major, educational management, was added to the Ed. D.
program. The Testing Center was institutionalized and evening classes were organized.
Additional classrooms and university facilities were also built and the students
were accorded a function room and added space for their use. The student population
during this time increased to more than 10,000.