The Development Council of State Universities and Colleges in Region III (DC-SUC III) and its implementing arm, the Center for Interinstitutional Research and Policy Studies (CIRPS) was formally organized and inaugurated on December 10, 1980. Conceptualization on its creation was initiated in the early 1977 when workshops on regional planning was initiated by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) among all government agencies and SUCs in the Region. During these sessions particularly in the education sector, the issue on the possible implementation of a regional system of education was raised to bring about interinstitutional camaraderie among member institutions.

On July 20, 1980 eight (8) original SUC council members, a proposal towards organizing the DC-SUC III/CIRPS was first submitted to the SUC Presidents for some deliberations and comments, Immediately some few months later, it was organized to be a council type of organization that brought together a regional system of education for the pursuance of excellence, quality and innovativeness in the academe. For its governance and in practice, each SUC President gets an opportunity to become the Chairman of the 13-SUC member institutions in the Region. The Chair ably supported by a Technical Staff as the Executive Director and a Secretary-Treasurer. Alternately, technological and agricultural schools take turns heading the Council with each SUC having appointed a Technical Staff to become member of the CIRPS. The Council meets every month to carry out its academic programs and lays down policies for the current school year.

In the early part of the DC-SUC III/CIRPS’ operations, the institutions were implementing varying policies on recruitment and selection of personnel, salary standardization, regulation of tuition/registration fees, promotions and many other operational practices in the academe. After reviews and self appraisal studies on these areas, institutions were able to address their needs, establishes guidelines, and fortify their strengths spearheads development towards a satisfying level. Since its establishment in the 80’s, SUCs in the region became closer as one (1) family. In terms of academic programs, the Council maintained common grounds where practices are similar. These were done to ease out difficulties when students transfer from one academe to another within the Region. The common program along cultural, sports, literary and research projects enliven the exercises and eased out burdens of financing as resources were pooled together.

As such due to the enormous success in regional linkages and camaraderie backed up by accomplishments of the DC-SUC III and CIRPS, the impact it has created, the DC-SUC III/CIRPS became a byword in the SUC national front. CIRPS as the “think tank” that made strides in institution building advanced many programs which led the national PASUC in its faculty and program development. The Council’s projects paved the way for PASUC, DBM, and CHED in adopting and implementing national policies and guidelines. Such as NCC 69, NBC 461, CHED Leveling Program, Quality Assurance Evaluation and Assessment and the Accreditation of Professors. Through the leads created by the Council, Regional competitions among faculty, students and non-teaching staff were initiated. These gave rise to the Annual Literary Cultural Festival, the Sports Competitions (SCUAA and SCUFAR), the Regional Skills Olympics and many other training programs in Research, Curricular Development and Extension Services.

However and without doubt, the greatest contribution of the DC-SUC III/CIRPS in the region was the development and empowerment of leaders. In the Council, potential leaders are identified, developed, trained and nurtured since the Council and the CIRPS became a breeding ground for “would-be-Presidents”. Records show that most of the SUC 3 Presidents were once a Technical Staff. From our midst, some of our officials emerged as leaders in the national level. Among those who assumed leadership posts in the national levels were the following: PASUC President (Dr. Feliciano Rosete), AACCUP Chairman (Dr. Rosario Pimentel) and LASUC Chairman (Dr. Josie Valdez and the late Dr. Gemiliano Calling). Today, unity is a by-word in the Council as it pursues alternative education systems and programs through effective and efficient educational set-up. From these pursuits, common curricular, administrative, fiscal policies and programs were formulated for every member institution along areas such as self appraisal, serious studies, evaluation and recommendations in the different aspects of school governance. Through coordination and complementation, small developing institutions were guided and motivated by big universities in line with the exchange of expertise, sharing of course programs and common course syllabi and other academic related endeavors. As the CIRPS remains steadfast and consistent to its vision and mission, the Council likewise continuous to move towards greater heights in matters involving academic excellence through competent educators for a global competitive environment.

Today, the Council moved even further by pursuing international linkages and programs. Educational benchmarking and the establishment of sister-pairing with other institutions in Asian and Western countries were made. As education seeks relevance in all aspects, so does the DC-SUC III/CIRPS advances towards the borderless but relevant mode and system of education for its member institutions. For years to come, such direction will be pursued by the Council and its think tank, the CIRPS.