Pampanga State Agricultural University, the home of the Aglibut Sweet Tamarind, is strategically nestled at the foothills of the western slope of the majestic Mt. Arayat. The university occupies approximately 500 hectares of government agricultural lands in the town of Magalang, province of Pampanga.
This university is a state institution of higher learning established in 1885, but was fully chartered in 1974, by virtue of Republic Act No. 4576 "An Act Converting the Pampanga National Agricultural School in Magalang, Pampanga into Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC)." This was complemented by Republic Act No. 8292, also known as the "Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997." As the "agricultural" word attached in its name, it is mandated to offer agriculture and agriculture-related curricular programs, notwithstanding the offering of allied fields.
This state agricultural university started as an agricultural experiment station known as Estacion Pecuaria in 1885, and was later renamed La Granja Modelo de Magalang. The experiment station then became Magalang Farm School, but was closed in 1898 due to the revolution.
It resumed operations in 1918 with Frank T. Ebbesen as the first American principal through the efforts of Governor Honorio Ventura and Assemblyman Andres Luciano, together with American teacher Kilmer Moe. In 1921, the school began to offer curricula in both the intermediate and high school levels.
In 1938, the Philippine Legislature passed Commonwealth Act 313 renaming Magalang Farm School to Pampanga National Agricultural School (PNAS). Again, the school was closed in 1941 on account of the second world war. It was re-opened in 1945 only to be closed once more in August 1946 because of the HUK rebellion. Finally, classes resumed in 1955 after peace had been restored.
Although PNAS was converted into Pampanga Agricultural College in 1965 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4576, the said law was not fully implemented during that year, since the school was only offering secondary vocational agriculture. Similarly, it underwent a transition stage from 1966-1969 under the supervision of the Bureau of Public Schools, the period when it actually started offering associate and bachelor programs in technical agriculture.
Its final stage to becoming a chartered state college was supervised by the Bureau of Vocational Education by virtue of RA 3742 from 1969 to 1974. Finally, it operated as a chartered state college in 1974 with Superintendent Felix V. Remigio as its first president. Dr. Fortunato A. Battad was the 2nd president, serving from 1974 – 1984. Dr. Ramon L. Simbulan became the college president from 1986 – 1999. He was replaced by Dr. Zosimo M. Battad from 1999 – 2007. Dr. Honorio M. Soriano Jr. became the 5th PAC president starting July 23, 2007 until PAC's conversion to universityhood.
The state college continued to show determination and efforts as the whole institution worked towards its dream to universityhood. These efforts led the PAC closer to its dream on June 11, 2013 when his Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III, with the endorsement of the House of Representatives and the Senate, has approved and enacted into law RA 10605 converting the College into State University to be known as Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU). The dream has finally turned into reality when PAC was validated on January 13, 2015 through CHED En Banc Resolution No. 006-2015.
At present, this state agricultural institution is viewed as a university with a heart for HUManity, Agriculture, Nature and Entrepreneurship (HUMANE) Development. It stands out among the other public and private academic institutions in the province and in Central Luzon. The university envisions itself to be a center of excellence for development and a premier university of science, arts and technology in agroecological, environmental and industrial management under a culture of unity and teamwork for excellence.
The university has distinctive programs such as relevant and customized curricular programs, demand-driven and community-oriented research and development, on-site technology promotion and transfer and inputs production, quality control testing and commercialization.
The university is composed of six colleges which are the College of Agricultural Systems and Technology, the College of Resource Engineering, Automation and Mechanization, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and the College of Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Food Sciences. The university offers a total of 20 undergraduate courses (both allied and non-allied courses), 2-year computer courses, and operates a graduate school for three masteral and two doctoral degrees. The academic programs are accredited by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges & Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP). As of December 2015, there are seven level 1, one level 2, six level 3 and three with Policy Standards and Governance (PSGs) qualified for level 4 accredited programs in the university. All the academic programs were issued certificates of program compliance by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Likewise, PSAU continuously undertakes agricultural research, production and extension-training activities aimed at enhancing the quality of higher education and countryside development. Focused on its research and development, the university has produced tamarind, bamboo, organic vegetables, livestock, poultry and water and energy research and development programs. The vibrant conduct of research and development resulted to gaining various awards for the PSAU. The university received local and international awards in research and development paper and poster presentations. The university is known for its agricultural products such as the sweet tamarind which is the only patented sweet tamarind variety in the country.
PSAU has been richly endowed with both physical and human resources, and has utilized external linkages and collaborations as vital support system to pursue its academic mandate. Through the years, the university has produced 35 (20.71%) doctor's degree holders among its faculty line-up, 113 (66.86%) master's degree holders and 21 (12.43) bachelor's degree holders nearly completing their master's degrees, and supported by 121 administrative personnel.
In terms of physical facilities, the university has a state of the art Audio-visual Center, Library, Interfaith Chapel, Nutraceutical Research Laboratory, Hydraulics Laboratory, Biology, Chemistry and Biotech Laboratories, Speech Laboratory, Sports Facilities, a Veterinary Medicine Hospital, Infirmary, In-campus Dormitories, FM Radio Station, Farmers' Training Center, Tissue-culture and Feed Laboratories, Mushroom Center, Hatchery, Bambusetum, ALIAS Center, Sweet Tamarind Nursery, Clonal Nursery and Internet Café; these and many more.
External support systems are equally important and the university has established considerable number of linkages with renowned institutions - both local and international. These also include non-government organizations both local and abroad.
Moreover, the university has existing exchange programs and linkages with international universities in South Korea (Hannam University, Pai Chai University, Andong National University, International University of Korea), in Thailand (Maejo Univerity), in the United States (Purdue University, Iowa State University, Clemson University, Texas University), in China (Shenzhen Business College) and in Israel. The College has existing partnership with ICRISAT in India in terms of research and extension activities aimed at enhancing agricultural development in rainfed cropping areas.
As of 2015 data, the university has a total of 7,381 students. With the desire of the university to help them, the students are granted academic scholarships and special scholarships for those who are involved in sports, athletics, socio-cultural activities; the socio-cultural groups are PSAU Drum and Lyre Corps, PSAU Choral Group and PSAU La Granja Modelo Dance Troupe. Moreover, external scholarships are given to students.
Pampanga State Agricultural University takes pride in its humble achievements. PSAU is the first state college granted a university status based on merits. The university is also one of the elite state universities in the Philippines with center of development programs under CMO 38 issued by CHED. Among these academic programs are BS Agriculture, BS Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Moreover, the university received the prestigious Lingkod Bayan Presidential Award of the Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture and Dangal ng Bayan Award for its sweet sorghum research and development project. These achievements are made possible through joint efforts exerted by those caring and sharing people in and around the PSAU Community – both the benefactors and the beneficiaries.
In pursuing its philosophy, Pampanga State Agricultural University advocates a dynamic mechanism for developing knowledge and skills of individuals in the quest for improved quality of higher education in particular, and quality of life in general.