The Mindanao State University, founded on September 1, 1961 through Republic Act 1387 and Republic Act 1893, has evolved over the years in keeping with national and local developments. The brain-child of late Senator, Domocao Alonto, it has grows from its main campus Marawi City to a University System that now comprises several campuses located in major centers in Mindanao and Sulu. Its first president was Dr. Antonio Isidro who came in from his position as the Vice President for Academic Affairs in the University of the Philippines.
The mandates of the University are, namely: (1) To perform the traditional functions of a university namely: instruction, research and extension service; (2) To help accelerate the program of the integration among the peoples of Southern Philippines, particularly the Muslims and other cultural minorities, and (3) To provide trained manpower skills and technical know how for the economic development of the Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) region. Furthermore, MSU’s current vision is “to be a premier supra-regional university committed to the social, political and economic development of Mindanao while achieving international recognition as leading institution of higher learning.” Its mission statement is as follows:
“Committed to the attainment of peace and sustainable development in the MINSUPALA region, the MSU System will set the standards of excellence in science, arts , technology, and other fields; accelerate the economic, cultural, socio-political, and agro-industrial development of the Muslim and other cultural groups, thereby facilitating their integration into the national community, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the region and conserve its natural resources; and infuse moral and spiritual values. For collaborative efforts, for diplomatic relations, and for international recognition as a leading institution of higher learning, the MSU System will pursue vigorously linkages with foreign agencies.”
The initial batch of students to enroll in the University on June 13, 1962 passed the scholarship examination administered by the National Science Development Board. They comprised two-hundred and eighty-two (282) freshmen students who were top 5% of their respective high schools in the MINSUPALA region. Their teachers were: twelve (12) regular Filipino faculty members and a number of volunteers from the British Voluntary Service Overseas, Volunteers in Asia, Ford Foundation, Fulbright Foundation and others. Baccalaureate courses were offered at that time by the pioneering colleges: Liberal Arts, Education and Community Development to which four more were added in the subsequent school year 1964-65 – Agriculture, Fisheries, Business Administration and Engineering. In July 1969, one more college was added – the College of Forestry.
Hitherto, in order to meet the growing demands of the region, twelve major colleges/units were created/restructured:
1.) The MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, superseding the Lanao Technical School of Iligan City, which was founded on January 1, 1969 under RA No. 5363.
2.) The Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography (formerly Sulu College of Technology and Oceanography) in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi which was created by RA no. 6060;
3.) The King Faisal Institute of Asian and Islamic (Arabic) Studies, and the
4.) College of Hotel and Restaurant Management which where established during the academic year of 1973-74;
5.) By 1974, the Science Training Center was founded in the Marawi City Campus to cater to Science and Mathematics teachers in the Marawi City and nearby Lanao provinces, as well as offer a Science High School curriculum. The latter was started in 1980 as approved by a 1975 BOR Resolution;
6.) The College of Health Sciences, which was founded in 1977-78, offers a regular Nursing program. Its two-year Midwifery course which was initially offered is currently put on hold.
7.) The College of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (CSPEAR) which was created through BOR Resolution No. 2113, approved on March 21, 1980, offers a Bachelor of Physical Education and a professional diploma in Physical Education;
8.) The College of Law, created through BOR Resolution No. 12 of January 8, 1981, offers a Bachelor of Laws degree beginning AY 1987-88;
9.) The College of Medicine was founded through BOR Resolution of March 9, 1981 and started its course offerings during the AY 1984-85;
10.) The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the,
11.) College of Social Sciences and Humanities were created through a BOR Resolution No. 247 of October 31, 1984 superseding the former College of Arts and Sciences;
12.) The MSU-WINT (MSU-Wisdom International), which was created on February 24, 2003 through BOR Resolution No. 10 Series of 2003 and BOR Resolution No. 14 Series of 2003 and BOR Resolution No. 14 Series of 2004, offers on-line courses through world-wide web beginning year 2004, and finally the Board of Regents during its meeting held on February 18, 2005 upgraded the former School of Information Technology into a collegiate unit through BOR Resolution No. 19, S. 2005.
On January 10, 2001, three CHED-Supervised Institutions, Lanao Agricultural College (LNAC), Lanao Agricultural College (LNAC), Lanao National College of Arts and Trade (LNCAT) and Maigo School of Arts and Trade (MSAT) were integrated into the MSU System by virtue of CHED Order No. 27 S. 2000, per Republic Act No. 8760.
MSU Marawi Campus has distinctions as the Regional Science Training Center, the Regional Carabao Center and one of the country’s Center of Excellence in Teacher Education and one of the country’s COE in Teacher Education and Chemistry and COE for Information Technology.