The 15th of December 1978 marked the birth of the sole state university in the Region XI. On this date, Batas Pambansa Blg. 12 was passed, thereby, creating the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN PHILIPPINES.
The University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) became operational in 1979 integrating the four state institutions in the region: the Mindanao State University-Davao Branch (MSUDB), the University of the Philippines Master of Management Program in Davao (UPMMPD), the Davao School of Arts and Trades (DSAT) and the Davao National Regional Agricultural School (DNRAS). The integration of these institutions paved the way for the birth of the five USeP campuses namely: the Davao City main campus in Obrero with an area of 6.5 hectares; the Mintal campus, Davao City that has an area of 2.8 hectares; the Tagum campus, Tagum City with a 77-hectare land area; the Mabini campus which lies in a 109-hectare land area in Mampising, Mabini, Compostela Valley Province; and the latest addition, Bislig campus in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur with an area of 9.7 hectares.
The early years saw birth of the College of Engineering and Technology in Obrero campus, the College of Forestry and Agriculture at Tagum and Mabini campuses and College of Arts and Sciences in Mintal campus. The succeeding years witnessed developments in the academic and administrative realms of USeP.
In 1993, through a Board of Regents (BOR) resolution, External Studies Programs were established. These were: USeP-Hinatuan Ext. Program in Surigao del Sur; USeP-Baganga External Studies Program in Davao Oriental; USeP-Kapalong College of Agricultural Technology and Entrepreneurship and USeP-Pantukan External Studies Program.
In 1996, USeP-Bislig campus in Surigao del Sur was established. PICOP waived nine hectares of Barangay Maharlika, Bislig for the initial campus.
From 1993 to 1997, new units were created. Among them were Mindanao Center for Policy Studies (MCPS); Affiliated Non-Conventional Energy Center (ANEC) for Region XI; Office of Admission and Student Records (OASR); Medical Division; Institute of Urban Finance and Management; University Testing and Guidance Office (UGTO); Project Implementation Unit (PIU); Institute of Computing (IC) and Center for Professional Board of Review for Teachers.
During the years of its growth, the Board of Regents has continued the streamlining of the administrative and organizational structure of the University to make it more responsive to changing needs and to enable the University to engage more in research and extension. Today, it has a modified organizational structure of the
The University, which sees the continued implementation of the university’s decentralization policies under established policy guidelines, which has resulted to more effective and efficient units. The Evening Program implemented through BOR resolution No. 2732 accommodates students who could not make it in the regular day program, however, with some variation in fees. Also, Summer Program has been approved. By the year 2001, the total number of curriculum offerings was 31 for the Graduate School and 28 for the Undergraduate Program.
Beginning 2002, the Office of the President under the administration of Dr. Julieta I. Ortiz identified and pursued Program Accreditation as one of the major thrusts of the university. Hence in the same year, three programs were awarded Level I status by AACCUP. These were BSED of USeP Tagum and Obrero, BEED of Obrero and Forestry and Agricultural Engineering of Tagum. Today, 16 of its undergraduate programs are accredited.
Now in its 38th year, the University has all the reasons to be proud of its achievements in the areas of instruction, research, extension, production, and administration. Within this period, the university is establishing a niche as a center for academic excellence in Mindanao – a reputation it has acquired through persistence and constancy of purpose in the pursuit of quality and excellence in all its undertakings. The University of Southeastern Philippines had made and will continue to make performance as a yardstick to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of its distantly located but diversely-rich university network of campuses.
It has been almost 27 years since the passage of Batas Pambansa Blg. 12. The failures and the successes of more than two-and-a-half decades of operations in the areas of instruction, research, extension, and administration have immensely contributed to what the University of Southeastern Philippines is now. This is USeP today. In the sphere of instruction, existing academic policies and curriculum offerings of the different colleges and campuses of the USeP are aligned with the demands of the market and of the economy. To date, USeP is offering 56 academic programs (two for Doctoral degrees, 27 for Masteral degrees and 27 for Baccalaureate programs) in the fields of Engineering, Education, Arts and Sciences, Economics, Computing, Governance, Development, Resources Management, Technology, Agriculture and Forestry. Enthused by the noble undertaking of imparting quality education through its commitment to maintaining a high level of quality standards, the University of Southeastern Philippines has continued to voluntarily submit itself to accreditation.
At present, many of the academic programs offered in the University have attained Accredited Status by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP): USeP-Tagum’s Agricultural Technology, Elementary Teacher Education, Forestry and Agricultural Engineering are Level II while USeP-Mabini’s Extension Education, Agriculture and Agricultural Teacher Education and USeP Obrero’s Biology, Industrial Technology, Computer Technology, Technology Education, Elementary Teacher Education, Secondary Teacher Education, Industrial Technology and Electrical Engineering are Level I. To fulfill its vision to become a modern state university at the cutting edge of academic excellence and at the forefront of research and development, the university demands excellence from its teaching force. Majority or 54 percent of the faculty members have Master’s degrees, 29 percent of them have Bachelor’s degrees while the remaining 17 percent possess Doctoral degrees. The outstanding performance manifested by USeP Engineering graduates during board examinations instigated the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) to declare USeP as a Center of Development in Engineering, specifically in Electrical Engineering (EE) and Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE).
Also, the quality of performance of its alumni in the different government, non-government and private organizations and companies have brought into USeP various scholarships from congressmen, senators and private individuals and companies for USeP students and faculty. In order to contribute markedly to the maximized use of Mindanao’s potential resources towards the well being of its people, the Research Division of the university has always worked for responsive research and development projects relevant to the university’s academic programs including food productivity and sustainability, technology, industrial fields, nutrition, health and resources management. Also, USeP is now the base agency of Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMARRDEC), a 19-member consortium of line agencies and research institutions in agriculture and agri-related research and development.
Similarly, the Extension Division has incessantly undertaken programs and outreach services in the communities through agriculture and fishery projects, capability-building programs, computer literacy and education, livelihood videotape showing, household skills training and others. Realizing that endeavors would be best met through convergence and partnerships, the university has explored means to establish linkages. To date, the University of Southeastern Philippines has inked partnerships with World Bank, Philippines-Australia Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao, Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization, Regional Center for Vocational and Technical Education and Training in Brunei Darussalam (SEAMEO VOCTECH), Philippines-Australia Human Resource Development Facility, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, PhilRice, National Computer Center, Department of Energy, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Resources for the Blind, Inc., SMART Philippines, SMARRDEC, Southern Mindanao Industry, Energy, Research and Development Consortium (SMIERDEC), DARUMA Tech, Inc., PCAMMRD, Mindanao Studies Consortium, Davao City Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN), and MSTPC. Today, new centers that are meant to be strategic growth points for USeP have been established. These are the Teacher Training Center for Region XI (Mindanao), the Mindanao eLearning Space (a project with DepEd and BEAM), the Science and Technology Learning Resource Center, the Regional Trades and Crafts Training and Production Center, the Knowledge for Development Center (with World Bank) and the Lifelong Study Center. With USeP avidly pursuing its USeP-Strategic Institutional Repositioning Project, the USEP community and stakeholders are optimistic that the university will effectively fulfill its mission in this part of the country.