Origins of the VSB

(Formerly the UP College of Business Administration (CBA))

The UP College of Business Administration was established in 1916 when then U.P. President Ignacio Villamor approved the proposal of Vicente Encarnacion Singson, Teodoro Yangco and Francisco Ortigas to offer a two-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce. The academic program was placed under the Department of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and was situated within the old U.P. Campus in Padre Faura. In 1918, the department produced the first graduates with a B.S.C. degree - Leon Ma. Gonzales, Sulpicio Belosillo and Jose V. Hernandez.

The desire to have a separate School of Business, however, led to a position presented to the Board of Regents in 1928. The request was subsequently granted by U.P. President Rafael Palma and the degree was designated as the "Bachelor of Science in Business Administration". The Honorable Conrado Benitez served as the first Dean and, under his administration, the College awarded its very first graduate degree - Master of Science in Industrial Management.

In 1940, Hon. Gil J. Puyat assumed his position as the second Dean of the College. Under Dean Puyat's stewardship, the alumni, led by UP Business Alumni Association President Vicente Hermoso, had consistently supported the needs of the College. The College thus continued operations until December 1941 when the Pacific theater of the Second World War broke out.

Classes resumed in 1946 at the end of the war, temporarily conducted on the third floor of the U.P. College of Law in Diliman. In 1947, under the leadership of Dean Jose E. Velmonte, the CBA was transferred to the Liberal Arts building, now known as the College of Arts and Sciences. The CBA's dream of settling in its own building was realized with the construction of the Benton Hall in 1959.

The following year, Dean Jovino S. Lorenzo took over and served from 1959-1960. The Honorable Cesar E.A. Virata assumed the deanship in 1960. During his term, the Master of Business Administration was instituted, and the MBA (part time program) was first offered in UP Diliman. During the term of Dean Virata, the first group of faculty was sent to the U.S. for further studies. These included Manuel S. Alba, Magdaleno B. Albarracin, Jaime C. Laya, Jr., Rafael A. Rodriguez, Emanuel V. Soriano (who became U.P. President in 1979), and Emmanuel T. Velasco for advanced studies. It was also during the term of Dean Virata that the College celebrated its 50th year, with Manuel Marquez as president of the UP Business Alumni Association.

In 1967, Dr. Jaime C. Laya succeeded Dean Virata. Through Dean Laya's leadership, the College of Business initiated a number of new programs - the Doctoral Program in Business Administration, the Master of Agri-Business Management program, and the five-year Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy. The College instituted a full-time MBA program and a number of joint programs - Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business, in cooperation with the College of Agriculture; Bachelor of Science in Business Economics, in cooperation with the School of Economics; and the Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, in cooperation with the College of Home Economics.

In 1971, during the term of Dean Laya, the U.P. Business Research Foundation, Inc. was established to support management research, establish Professorial Chairs, and to provide opportunities for the faculty to undertake management consultancy. Its founders were: Fanny Cortes-Garcia, Dr. Jaime C. Laya, the late Don Pio Pedrosa, the late Juan D. Quintos, Sr., the late Anselmo Trinidad, Sr., and Cesar E.A. Virata. In 1971, Dean Laya began to conceive a more spacious and better-equipped building for the College. Construction of this building began in 1976.

Dr. Emmanuel T. Velasco succeeded Dean Laya in 1975 and ably took the task of overseeing the construction of the new building. The construction was financed by the National Government, and by the Alumni under the leadership of Mrs. Fanny Cortes-Garcia, who was then the President of UP Business Alumni Association. It was during Dr. Velasco's term that the College saw its first graduates from the Doctoral Program.

Dr. Magdaleno B. Albarracin, Jr. was sworn into office on May 1, 1980, to become the eighth Dean of the College. Under his leadership, the College committed itself to the development of a strong faculty and to the service of the business community, the government sector and others in need of management expertise. It also reached out to its alumni, friends and the Philippine business sector for continued support and for the development of new programs and projects. During the term of Dean Albarracin, the alumni and the business community contributed to the Professorial Chair fund for the establishment of eighteen (18) new Professorial Chairs, as well as four scholarship grants. A third floor was also added to the building to accommodate large class sizes of at least 100 students.

Dr. Cesar G. Saldana took his oath on August 8, 1986 to become the ninth Dean of the College. During his term, the College proposed to have a prominent ASEAN presence in business and management education, and pursued an improved faculty recruitment and development program. The Philippine Management Review, a venue for the research outputs of the College faculty, was also launched during this period.

Prof. Rafael A. Rodriguez was sworn into office on May 1, 1992 and re-appointed for a second 3-year term in 1995. Dean Rodriguez initiated linkages with industry through the Development Center for Finance (DCF), which was established jointly with the FINEX Research & Development Foundation in December 1992, and through active membership in the Manufacturing Industry Roundtable (MIR). The faculty complement was strengthened through the recruitment of new faculty with doctoral degrees, faculty fellowships for junior faculty, and postdoctoral fellowships for senior faculty in major universities in Canada through grants from CIDA. With assistance from Alumni, 24 new professorial chairs and two faculty grants were established allowing the College to offer grants or professorial chairs for all full time faculty in the College. The DBA Program was reviewed and restructured into a Ph.D. Program while the MBA curriculum was revised to reflect less traditional functional courses and more emphasis on integrating courses and courses in technology management. In June of 1997, the Master of Science in Finance, one of the first of its kind in the country, was established. Also in 1997, the College became one of the first in U.P. Diliman to be Internet connected when the CBA building was wired through a LAN.

Dr. Elvira A. Zamora took her oath of office on August 1, 1998 - the first woman dean of the College. Dean Zamora prioritized the strengthening of relationships between the College and its various stakeholders. A staff development program was instituted with the College research and administrative personnel participating in continuing training seminars. An office for the MBA Society was set up within the College premises which has led to a more cohesive bond between the College and its MBA alumni. A student-centered administration was also emphasized, particularly via stronger coordination with the various student organizations. Following the lead of her predecessors, outside linkages have also been established and strengthened such as the linkage with L'Oreal. Finally, a casebook writing project was launched as part of the CHED-Center of Development (COD) program of activities.

Dean Echanis has been active in soliciting funding from alumni and other donors. During 2001-2010, twenty eight (28) professorial chairs, six (6) faculty grants and fourteen (14) scholarships were established. Additional donations were made to increase the endowment of seventeen (17) professorial chairs. Nineteen (19) donors helped in the renovation and rehabilitation of classrooms while eleven (11) donated for the establishment of student organization rooms. The fifth floor was renovated with funds from Zuellig Pharma Corporation to serve as the Gilbert Zuellig Continuing Education Center of the College.

Support for research, publications and extension led to the regular publication of the Philippine Management Review (a College-based refereed journal) as well as several international publications awards for the faculty, new text and casebooks, and major consultancy and training projects. Published books authored by UPCBA faculty members include: Management Accounting and Control: Text & Philippine Cases, Cases on Marketing Management in the Philippine Setting, Cases on Arts and Culture Management in the Philippine Setting, Cases on Strategic Management in the Philippine Setting, Investment Management and the Philippine Stock Market, Analysis of Selected Philippine Industries, Fundamentals of Management and Corporate Finance: Text and Philippine Cases. Formal curricular reviews were undertaken and revisions introduced to update and strengthen the college degree programs. The Master of Science in Management degree was instituted in 2006.

CBA students have actively participated in national intercollegiate competitions and won the championships in most of them. In international competitions, UPCBA won first place in the CFA Institute's 4th Global Investment Research Challenge in April 2010 and won over 434 universities worldwide. UP placed 2nd to Portugal in the semifinals of the 18th edition of L'Oreal Brandstorm in Paris, France in June 2010 and won the Best Presentation Award in the Regional Grand Finals of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Young Entrepreneur Awards in Hongkong in June 2007.

Dr. Ben Paul B. Gutierrez became dean on August 1, 2010. His term will be devoted to (1) Establishment of the College' presence in Fort Bonifacio/Makati area; (2) Coverage of the Philippine Management Review in the Thomson-Reuters' Web of Science (formerly Institute for Scientific Information) and expanding the authorship base to the Southeast Asian region; (3) Faculty development and retention; and (4) Review of academic programs. Fund raising efforts will be focused on student scholarships and on the sponsorship of classrooms by the alumni and friends of the College at the Fort Bonifacio campus for our MBA and MS Fin programs. International linkages of the College will be expanded for faculty and student exchange programs and for faculty development such as sending faculty members abroad for their Ph.D. degrees.