ARNOLD E. VELASCO, TSU’S 6TH PRESIDENT
It is said that adversity is the mother of success. Dr. Arnold E. Velasco, the sixth president of the Tarlac State University, is a living testament to this truism. Having risen the ladder of professional and socio-economic success from a disadvantaged beginning through sheer hard work and will power, his story is truly one for the books.
President Arnold, as he is fondly called at TSU, is a true son of our university. He graduated from TSU (then called the Tarlac College of Technology) in 1989 with the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. But what is worth mentioning about his college days at TSU is that, while he was attending classes here, he was also working as a tricycle driver at night in Sta. Ignacia town, where he was born and where he spent much of his growing up years. On weekends he was a wanderer in search of construction jobs in faraway places in order to save enough money to finance his own education.
As a student, Dr. Velasco was a dreamer. He dreamed of finishing his college education to find a better-paying job and give his parents and four brothers the best life possible. He did not allow poverty to get in the way of his dreams. Even though his worldly possessions consisted merely of a single pair of shoes and a tattered backpack, he forged ahead, eventually earning four academic degrees -- Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Secondary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, and Doctor of Philosophy in Development Education – and passing three government examinations – the licensure examination for Electrical Engineers, the licensure examination for Professional Teachers, and the examination for Civil Service Professionals.
Shortly after getting his engineering license, he worked as a maintenance engineer in a private company in Taguig City. However, he knew deep in his heart that he wanted to teach. And so he decided to accept a teaching position at the Tarlac College of Agriculture (now named the Tarlac Agricultural University). The teaching license and the master’s degree in math teaching that he earned earlier had helped him tremendously.
At TAU, his rise to the top was both inspired and inspiring. He started as a University Electrical Engineer and then he was designated at various times to the following important positions: Dean of the College of Education, Director for Admission and Registration Services, Director for Research and Development, Chair of the Project Management Committee for Infrastructure Projects, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As Dean and later VPAA, he helped steer TAU towards higher and better positions in global university rankings.
Aside from his sterling administrative and academic achievements, Dr. Velasco is also a well-known researcher, having received many research awards and completed numerous nationally and internationally funded projects. In fact, he holds the patent for an invention that was found very useful in agricultural production.
President Arnold, who is a member of the Tarlac First Baptist Church, is an active member of numerous professional and civic organizations, including the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines, the State Universities and Colleges Teacher Education Association, the National Higher Education Registrars Association, the National Association of Registrars of State Universities and Colleges, the Association of Science and Mathematics Coaches of the Philippines, the PanAsia Training and Research Institute, and the Tarlac Alab Tala Elite Eagles Club.
He is happily married to Dr. Laureen T. Velasco, school principal at the San Julian Central School in Pangasinan, and they are blessed with three wonderful children: Nick Raymund, a 4th-year B.S. Electrical Engineering student at TSU; Elijah, 3rd-year B.S. Accountancy student, also at TSU; and Nathaniel, a Grade 10 student.
President Velasco remains a dreamer and a doer. But this time his dreams and actions are for TSU. He envisions TSU as “one of the top 1000 sustainable universities in the world.” Given his track record of academic and administrative success, there is no doubt that, with the full support of the TSU community, this dream will come true. After all, as the Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
He will serve as the President of TSU starting April 1, 2022 until March 31, 2026.
[By J.R.S. Arador]
Past TSU Presidents
- Dr. Myrna Q. Mallari
- Dr. Priscilla C. Viuya
- Dr. Dolores G. Matias
- Dr. Rodolfo Y. Baking
- Dr. Alejandro M. Fernandez