New Year Address from the President
Firstly, I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. We had nine consecutive days off this year, and I hope you enjoyed yourselves. Though like you I had some homework over the break, I was also able to relax at home.
I'd like to take a look back at the past year and the goals we achieved.
Our main objectives were to update internal regulations in accordance with the revision of the School Education Act and the Act of National University Corporations, as well as to partially introduce annual salary systems. To this end, we garnered the opinions and understanding of our faculty and staff, following which we successfully implemented our plans. Thank you all very much for this. In my position as president, I am committed to running the university in an optimal manner together with our entire faculty and staff--drawing on the governance of our university leadership and our speedy decision-making systems.
Next, regarding our educational research projects, our Medical Education Development Center has been named Japan's sole comprehensive medical education facility. This is an extremely important development considering the third-term initiatives that I will describe in a moment. Though some of our international applications were close to being accepted, they were ultimately turned down in the final stages. As also noted in the comments attached to the screening results, we are being asked to step up our development process building on our current application. To this end, our institution--and particularly our Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences--is working steadily to step up ties with overseas institutions, and doing so at an astonishing speed. In addition, all of our departments are taking steps to globalize, including: providing overseas special assistance education via our Faculty of Education; expanding on overseas clinical training and carrying out Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) trial runs as preparatory education via our School of Medicine; international educational course preparations by our Faculty of Regional Studies; and aggressive development of our International Student Center. I hope these initiatives will continue to be boosted even further.
I now want to move on to this year's goals. I'd like to ask everyone to work together with a view to achieving results for our third plan as a national university, which will start next year.
Naturally, our biggest task for the coming year is to devise the third medium-term goals and plan. Also, major changes in rules governing administrative cost subsidy distribution to be implemented in the third plan have been announced. As we incorporate these changes, we are currently working a year ahead of the launch of the third plan, starting with FY2015 budget proposals. Our task right now is to proceed with future developments in mind.
We also need to determine and announce what particular functions the university will choose by the beginning of the third plan. This requires far greater decision-making than even a re-defining of our mission. According to a presentation made at the Council for Industrial Competitiveness on December 17th of last year by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura, our institution can be considered a university that focuses on facilitating regional dynamism and supporting specified fields--a Center of Community (COC). More specifically, this means that our institution implements educational research on the national and global levels in particular sectors, with a solidifying focus on revitalizing local regions. To maintain our primary mission of regional revitalization, we need to do our part for regional communities in a way that can be visibly and transparently assessed. To rephrase, we need to compile our current performance record in this area into a format that is easy to understand and convey, and to devise proposals on how to make further strides.Meanwhile, it is also imperative that we clearly define and indicate the sectors that we are pursuing on global and national levels, also based on our past and current performance. Specifically, we are considering biological science, environmental science, advanced materials/molding, and--as mentioned earlier--medical education, for which we already have an established institution. Keeping this in mind, I would like to ask everyone to please move ahead with our plans for both reorganization of our research centers and calls for educational research projects including global initiatives. Further, to foster new centers over the next few years, we need to implement basic research for additional sectors in order to render Gifu University into the cutting-edge institution that it can be. Speaking in rather extreme terms from the standpoint of research support by our leadership, research themes at existing candidate centers--which already have great potential--are expected to be further developed by way of external funds. We are committed to offering the utmost support to the candidates in terms of budget, but please note that internal screening procedures will be strict.
As I've described earlier, it appears that we have busy days ahead, right from the beginning of this year. Now I believe it is our job to get down to business and move ahead with the initiatives we've established. As always, it is my hope that the coming year will be a great one for the future of our institution.
I'd like to conclude this simple New Year address here. Thank you all very much.
January 5th, 2015
President, Gifu University
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