Isabela State University links with TAU, vows for greater inter-institutional collaboration

Text By Jerome L. Duque

Photo by Mr. Jayson J. Elenzano

“When I first heard that Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) is one of the best universities not only in Asia but in the entire world, I already decided to visit TAU.”

Such were the words uttered by Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino, President of Isabela State University (ISU), during the Ceremonial Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ISU and TAU on 25 April at TAU AgroTourism Function Hall.

As a response, Dr. Max P. Guillermo recalled that former TAU President, Dr. Robustiano J. Estrada, hailed from ISU. “For whatever it's worth, maybe what you are seeing right now is partly due to ISU’s legacy,” Dr. Guillermo stressed.

Located at Cagayan Valley’s “Midrib-Peripheral Growth Centers and Socio Economic Development Zone,” ISU manages 24 Research and Development (R&D) centers. It also has four Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Centers of Development namely BS Agriculture (Echague Campus), BS Information Technology (Echague and Cauayan Campuses), and BS Education (Cabagan Campus).

Referring to ISU's stellar achievements, Dr. Christine N. Ferrer, Director of External Linkages and International Affairs (ELIA) said she hopes TAU could learn from the experiences of ISU especially in its academic programs which attained COD status from CHED and its R&D facilities which now lead in promoting sustainable development in Isabela and neighboring provinces.

Dubbed as the university for people, nature, entrepreneurship, and innovation, ISU is a comprehensive Higher Education Institution in Region II and was recognized in 2018 as the top-ranking State University and College (SUC) in terms of number of AACCUP accredited programs.

Benchmarking with TAU’s Key Officials

ISU’s team had a roundtable discussion with Dr. Ferrer and the TAU Taskforce on Impact Ranking. The ELIA Director, answered queries on Times Higher Education (THE) IMPACT Rankings, QS Stars, and other sustainability and mobility-related concerns.

To address SDG 13 - Climate Action and how TAU is adapting to drastic effects of climate change to crops and livestocks,  Dr. Ma. Asuncion G. Beltran, Vice President for Research, Extension, and Training, and Dr. Maria Elena T. Caguioa, Director of Research and Development, shared the contributions of different strategic centers at TAU like the SMART Agriculture Center and Artificial Insemination (AI) Laboratory.

Having ranked in the top 200 of THE IMPACT Rankings under SDG 5 - Gender Equality, Dr. Marianne P. Villaruel oriented the group on how the TAU Gender and Development Office integrated gender fairness in its core mandates and implemented gender-inclusive policies. Meanwhile, as part of her tasks as Director of Extension and Training, Dr. Yolanda S. Guillermo engaged with her counterpart from ISU and shed light on some of the issues regarding SDG 2 or Zero Hunger.