By Matthew C. Esmino & Jonie C. Luis (Correspondents)

CITY OF BATAC—As the leading university in the Ilocos Region, the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) has started taking bold steps to become a “University of the Future.”

In her state of the university address (SOUA) during MMSU’s Convocation Program on Jan. 20, 2022, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis bared the university’s goal of being “crisis-proof” by fully embracing the “Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) or Industry 4.0”.

“FIRe shall be the new norm in all university operations in order to stay relevant and responsive amid various crises,” Agrupis said.

Agrupis added that the “MMSU 4.0 Framework and Road Map” has already gained the approval of the MMSU Board of Regents—ready to create policies, programs and funds for said purpose. It is a system of education designed for an automated data exchange system in manufacturing technologies that include cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, and cognitive computing.

The framework presents Agrupis’ main objective to upgrade its education strategies, systems and infrastructure to align with industry. Specifically, it aims to equip its faculty and students with “IR 4.0” skills; to increase interdisciplinary research, innovation, intellectual property, publications and technology adoption; and, to improve efficiency and productivity through the optimized utilization of resources.

Moreover, MMSU shall adopt new education tools and technologies, enhance digital governance, develop digital technology and promote industry-university collaboration.

Achieved much to achieve more

BESIDES presenting MMSU’s direction to achieve more, Agrupis also reported the university’s accomplishments in the past year in her SOUA, with respect to her 7-point agenda dubbed ACHIEVE.

The acronym stands for: Academic Excellence; Creative, Relevant and Innovative Research Programs; High Impact and Transformative Extension and Outreach Programs; Improved Revenue Generation and Resource Management; Expanded External Linkages and Partnerships; Vibrant and Engaging, Culturally-Focused University Campus; and, Effective and Efficient Management

In her SOUA, Agrupis presented how MMSU persistently committed itself to excellence and service to people despite the enormous toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She presented how the university accomplished more in the areas of instruction, research, extension, production, linkages and partnerships, vibrant campus environment, and management.

In 2021, MMSU produced the biggest number of programs that produced top passers and posted high passing rates in licensure examinations; opened its Center for Flexible Learning and upgraded its Virtual Learning Environment; and attained Level IV accreditation in its 11 programs. Also, the faculty continued to toughen with the 42% increase in the number of doctorate degree holders. 

Also, with the efforts of its administrators and employees, MMSU now houses two Niche Center in the Regions (NICERs) for research and development; became a part of three international consortia; completed major infrastructure projects; completed and submitted its Land Use Development and Infrastructure Plan; reached a 99% vaccination rate among its employees and its students; and, qualified for the bronze award for the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) of the Civil Service Commission.

[Full speech can be accessed at]

“Here in MMSU, we seized every opportunity, explored more possibilities, and committed ourselves to making positive change in the lives of our people, always staying true to the vision of our founder, and constantly committing ourselves to excellence,” she expressed in her fifth SOUA.

Environment Secretary lauds MMSU

“YOUR accomplishments despite the pandemic are truly amazing and could have only been made possible by clear vision coupled with strong resolve to achieve,” remarked Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who served as the guest speaker in the program.

Cimatu also looks forward to seeing MMSU “develop more systems and national inputs for policy-making in support of the people-centered strategies for environmental protection and sustainable development.”

The DENR secretary expressed his interest to collaborate with MMSU through the enhanced National Greening Program focusing on nipa propagation for ethanol production. In 2018, the agency forged a memorandum of agreement with MMSU and other seven state universities for the establishment of a 170-hectare nipa plantation in support of the program.

The convocation, which was held at the newly refurbished Teatro Ilocandia and through online platforms, is the central event of the University’s 44th Foundation Anniversary Celebration. (With reports from John Vincent B. Toribio & Daniel Tapaoan, Jr.)