Toward a world-class knowledge base
*Information related to faculty members/students and graduate schools at Gifu University here are all that of the time of interviewing.
While providing world-class knowledge, education, and culture, I want to ensure the education of young people who will support the coming era and have good morals and a deep concern for others.
Toward a university that performs world-class research and facilitates community co-creation
Gifu University has a long history, and I am pleased to have the opportunity today, together with you all, to help us prepare for the future. When I was appointed President of Gifu University, the concept that I presented was that we should generate a wide range of people who learn, explore and contribute to society. I think that it is important to establish the principle that Gifu University continues to be a place where excellent people are trained and educated.
In 2020, Gifu University was integrated with Nagoya University as the Tokai National Higher Education and Research System (THERS). At THERS, the goal is to achieve the following: (i) world-class research competence and (ii) community co-creation. In the future, in collaboration with Nagoya University--bringing together knowledge and understanding from both universities--, we will contribute to the creation of a society in which all people can live fulfilling lives.
As a start, THERS puts forward the following three visions: (i) providing a high-quality, internationally compatible education; (ii) establishing knowledge bases with the expansion of world-class research; and (iii) contributing to international society and community co-creation with the resolution of social and commercial issues. While establishing these as foundations, the university has the mission of performing as a community network hub in the context of Society 5.0, which is the future society proposed by the Japanese government. With the aim of reinforcing research strengths, which the Japanese government has put forward as a theme, the university is striving to function as a core for the region while at the same time engaging in world-class research. I believe that Gifu University has the stance needed to achieve these goals.
Developing personnel with an understanding of both the sciences and humanities, suitable for Society 5.0
The first of the above visions, the practical provision of high-quality, internationally compatible education, means developing personnel suitable for Society 5.0. At Gifu University, the following themes have been put forward to achieve this vision: (i) establishing an education system and environment centered around Academic Central; (ii) actualizing a digital university; and (iii) creating a system and environment that allows students and teaching staff to present their true abilities. Academic Central is an organization in which the educational basis for THERS as a whole is organized. A common mode for educating personnel with knowledge across the sciences and humanities is implemented, thereby fusing various disciplines by establishing new foundations for education and preparing a broad teaching environment spanning such fields as liberal arts and mathematical and data-oriented sciences. In addition, efforts are being made to improve the quality of education by making use of digital technologies, such as Avatar. Interuniversity liaisons within Gifu Prefecture are also important, with the Gifu Network University Consortium as the base.
Additionally, efforts are underway to strengthen the graduate school's doctoral programs. Fundamentally, academic activities take various forms, with some involving studying to one's heart's content a field of particular interest and others conducting research on something demanded by society. Currently, there is a strong demand for academia to generate the kind of personnel preferred by corporations. By improving and reinforcing the education of postgraduate students to match the needs of society, while liaising with corporations during this period in which Japan's population is rapidly decreasing, we are striving to train and educate more people who will become immediate assets to society. At the same time, as we approach an era in which the usual human lifespan is about a century, I think that recurrent education will be a major theme. The first goal is to replenish the education of mature people who are active at the forefront of business in order to increase their expertise. We also want to establish relationships by making use of the properties of Gifu University and Nagoya University, further expanding the system for earning joint degrees with advanced overseas universities.
Medical-pharmaceutical innovation bases where medicine, veterinary science, engineering, and pharmacology are combined
Regarding the second of the above visions, establishing knowledge bases by the expansion of world-class research, Gifu's research is already outstanding in several fields. Four bases have been established at THERS. In particular, Glycans Research Hub, a research base for sugar-related life science, has produced impressive results, and there are major hopes for future expansion as a global research project. The expansion of our Aerospace Research and Education Hub (AREH) has also been impressive, and it is supported by both the Cabinet and Gifu's prefectural government. In the future, we would like to promote the concept of an Innovative healthcare and drug-creation base. In addition to research bases for medicine, veterinary science, and engineering within Gifu University, Gifu Pharmaceutical University--adjacent to the Gifu University campus--is currently transferring all its functions to Gifu University, with scheduled completion by 2027. Our intention is to establish the life science field as a single university, making use of our mutual strengths by integrating all factors that are missing in our innovative healthcare and pharmaceutical research. This objective is compatible with the establishment of bases for an "innovation commons," or shared bases, which has been put forward by MEXT. Preclinical studies using animals are performed in our Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences, which has expertise in veterinary science. Furthermore, the School of Medicine, the university hospital, and affiliated hospitals within Gifu Prefecture have formed a single, region-wide, clinical research organization, and clinical studies will be performed rapidly in the future. Establishing an organization of this type will present the potential for new medicines and healthcare technologies to be generated quickly in Gifu. I hope that these advances will result in a new model for Japanese drug creation. Undoubtedly, a healthcare and pharmaceutical innovation base will emerge, and by developing the Gifu University campus as a whole, I hope to promote the "smart city" concept, with both young and old living healthy and fulfilling lives.(Click to enlarge)
Actualizing the "migration, laboratory, innovation, and education" (MLIE) concept and focusing on the strengths of Gifu University
For the third of the above visions--contributing to international society and community co-creation with the resolution of social and commercial issues--, practical achievement and expansion of the TOKAI-PRACTISS concept, the favorable environment model for academia, industry, and regional expansion proposed by Dr. Seiichi Matsuo, Chancellor of THERS, has been put forward as the goal. At Gifu University. more research efforts are being made by the Gifu Renewable Energy System Research Center in relation to next-generation energy policies, including the development of hydrogen and ammonia cells, biomass energy, the resolution of environmental problems, and the achievement of carbon neutrality. Personally, I would like to give a vigorous boost to research that makes good use of Gifu's regional advantages. One of these is geothermal energy. The northern part of Gifu Prefecture includes the Okuhida Onsen hot spring area, situated over an enormous magma dome. I think that there is great potential for the effective use of geothermal energy in this region. At Gifu University, we have previously had good results from research on wind and solar power generation, and I am interested in geothermal power generation that makes use of those findings. We plan to liaise with all private companies in the region that have initiated research, and from the point of view of community co-creation, we want to give them broad support. I hope that this will lead to redevelopment of the Okuhida Onsen hot spring area, including recovery of the tourism industry from the hit it took during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we are looking into breeding sturgeons, eels, and shrimp using the hot water that will be available and developing new products using smart agriculture. Wild animal watching and forest utilization, as investigated by Gifu University's Research Center for Wildlife Management, are also important. In addition, various studies are being performed in the field of town planning by the Center for Collaborative Study with Community, the Faculty of Regional Studies, and the School of Social System Management. Research is also ongoing in the field of agriculture by the Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences. Furthermore, in studies regarding the environment and water quality associated with geothermal power generation, use can be made of information from the River Basin Research Center and Regional Adaptation Research Center. Our concept is to further expand these areas and develop projects with the participation of students and faculty throughout Gifu University.
The strength of Gifu University is in relation to making--that is, town planning, development of human education and character, production of food and goods, and provision of healthcare. By drawing out the qualities of Gifu University to the greatest extent possible and supporting numerous areas of research, community co-creation, and business startups, a society in which numerous energetic young people gather will be created. We also hope for energetic activity on the part of the Center for Advanced and Smart Die Engineering Technology, Gu Composites Center, AI Research Center, and Co-Design Research Center. Focusing on these strengths of Gifu University, I have put forward the new MLIE concept for Gifu, which stands for "migration, laboratory, innovation, and education." Accordingly, Gifu University has great potential. However, how much of that will be actualized? As President, I will put efforts into this, of course, but it cannot be achieved by a single person. While earning the support of all university teaching staff, canvassing to obtain numerous opinions, and identifying young people's dreams and aspirations, I will persevere in the goal of developing a university that achieves its potential.
Educational environment for cultivating both world-class knowledge and expertise, as well as ethics and humaneness
Major social changes have occurred as a result of the spread of COVID-19. There has been rapid progress in terms of a digital transformation, as well as changes in the nature of society and individuals' modes of thinking and living. In the context of the COVID-19 era, the mission of Gifu University--to continue to provide an academic environment in which young people can embrace and actualize their dreams--has been brought home to me. Furthermore,
Gifu Prefecture is home to numerous small and medium-sized businesses. I hope that by producing human resources useful for these businesses and vigorously engaging in collaborative research, we can facilitate interactions and achieve community co-creation.
My belief is that we should take great care to maintain harmony. My personal motto is "harmony must be treated as the greatest treasure." I think that a pure emotional and psychological nature underlies harmony. I graduated from the Department of Medicine and have contributed to the field of healthcare, and in that context I have always thought, "What would I do if this were my relative?" In other words, I approach medical treatment as though the patients were my family members. As an educator, I aimed to impart not only medical techniques and knowledge, but also an understanding of the importance of an ethical and humane approach to medicine. As President, in the future, I will come into contact with numerous students, and I hope to communicate the importance of ethics, humaneness, and a pure emotional and psychological nature.
During the Showa era (1926-1989), most people felt that if they only had enough material things, they would be happy. In the present age, however, we are awash with material things. If you go to a convenience store, everything is lined up for you to buy. In the modern age, what is most needed may be a good emotional and psychological nature. Gifu University should be a base for world-class knowledge, but also a place where ethics and humane values are inculcated. I feel that Gifu University, with departments for the humanities and sciences, is an appropriate place for such learning. Since young people are responsible for the coming era, I want to encourage students to develop a deep sense of ethics and humaneness while excelling in their academic pursuits, as I believe this is the path to fulfilling lives. I hope that I can grow together with all GIFU students.
Aspirations of newly established departments
Evaluation, General Affairs, Public Relations and Fund
AIMING FOR A UNIVERSITY, WITH DYNAMIC STUDENTS AND LECTURERS, THAT CONTRIBUTES TO AND IS SUPPORTED BY SOCIETY
As we enter the era of the extreme aging of society, such as humanity has never seen before, along with a revolution in information and other technologies and the rapid advance of globalization, the common sense of previous eras no longer applies. Today, there is a demand for people who can reason autonomously from various value perspectives on the basis of a firm intellectual foundation and then make judgments and act on that basis. I would like Gifu University to produce such people, and I am making progress by establishing an appropriate environment for that objective. In addition, my aim is to establish a university that is a locus for people to develop enthusiastic and fulfilling lives. In addition, we hope to demonstrate a sincere and honest stance toward solving social problems and achieve the wide transmission of the educational and research activities of our dynamic students and lecturers, such as the social contributions of our research results. Thus, we will earn the support, encouragement, and trust of society.
Planning, Academic Research, Finance and Industry-Academia Collaboration
QUEST FOR A MANAGEMENT ENTITY WITH A STANCE APPROPRIATE FOR A CORE REGIONAL UNIVERSITY
To continuously expand Gifu University, which has the mission of engendering people who learn, exlore, and contribute, I aim to strengthen the organizational functions with unceasing reassessments and reforms of the university's internal organization. Further, I seek a stance as a management entity appropriate to the role of a core regional university.
In the context of the gradual decrease in grants for operational expenses, we need to tackle financial reform without holding onto sacred cows while simultaneously ensuring the reliable performance of financial operations so as to contribute to increasing the quality of education and research.
While enhancing the excellence of academic research in a wide range of fields based on the intellectual curiosity of researchers, we will establish a group of research centers that generate world-class research results in specific fields. We will practice research management to resolve various issues facing the regional society and humanity in general. By promoting the Regional Expansion Vision, 2030, we will offer a blueprint for activities involving liaisons between industry, government, and academia.
Academic Affairs and Student Support
PROVIDING EDUCATION APPROPRIATE TO THE MODERN ERA WHILE MAINTAINING A "STUDENTS FIRST" UNIVERSITY
It is now the third year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Has Gifu University properly fulfilled its responsibility as a university? It seems that we can confidently assert that it has. We have focused on GIFU's first-year students in particular, ensuring that they are regarded as the principal actors on the campus; thus, face-to-face lectures are provided for the Campus-wide Education. There may have been areas where the university did not respond perfectly to this unprecedented health disaster, but even in the departments where remote lectures were used as needed, these were established gradually, and a best-mix fusion of face-to-face and remote lectures was achieved.
In the future, we aim to further provide students with reliable knowledge, techniques, the ability to think rationally, make judgments, and express themselves. We will equip them with internationally applicable academic skills that can be used actively on a global basis. The combined strength of the teaching staff at Gifu University will ensure a bright future for all students.
International Affairs, Information and (Deputy in Charge for) Evaluation
CREATION OF A GOOD CASE FOR INTERNATIONALIZATION AS A REGIONAL CORE UNIVERSITY
The fundamental goals of Gifu University are education, research, internationalization, and contributions to society, which are positioned as the responsibilities that a university must fulfill. Not treating these targets as separate, but as linked, leads to the creation of higher quality human resources. As an organization promoting globalization, we have been working to create global-oriented human resources in the Joint degree programs and various other internationalized programs. In the future, THERS, making use of various advantages, will develop a new human resources creation program encompassing education, research, internationalization, and social contributions for students, young researchers, and people who are already working. I hope that achieving these objectives will result in a good case for internationalization as a regional core university.
Diversity, Human Rights and Library
AIMING FOR A FRIENDLY, RELIABLE UNIVERSITY WHERE IT IS EASY TO WORK AND STUDY
As the director of the Gender Equality Promotion Office, I promote the establishment of an educational and research environment and employment structure appropriate for female researchers, as well as support for both employment and domestic life and awareness-raising activities. We aim for a university in which not only females, but students and lecturers who are diverse in various other ways, can work and study easily. Please feel free to visit the Gender Equality Promotion Office, also known as Chamomile Café, the base for social exchange, on the second floor of the University Hall.
As the director of the University Library, in addition to maintaining the traditional roles of a library, I am encouraging a shift toward the mode that a library should take in the present open-science era. We maintain the archive core as a library museum, which is unusual throughout Japan. Various valuable documents are stored and on display. Furthermore, by having themed presentations in the entrance hall and loaning equipment and materials to support events, our aim is to be a friendly and reliable library for students and lecturers.
Director of Gifu University Hospital
PROGRESS AS A REGIONAL CORE MEDICAL INSTITUTION PROVIDING HIGH-LEVEL, UP-TO-DATE HEALTHCARE
Gifu University Hospital is continuing to make progress as an institution with several roles. First, it is an educational institution that trains personnel who will be energetic and enthusiastic, both locally and globally. Second, it is a research institution that creates new drugs and develops other types of healthcare to meet new standards. Third, it is a regional core healthcare institution that provides patients with robotic surgery and other high-level healthcare innovations. At present, I am promoting the establishment of the hospital as a smart hospital. My hope is that patients can be treated at Gifu University Hospital without anxiety. The aim is to be recognized a world-class hospital, with actualization of online care for patients at places separate from the hospital, remote surgery via high-speed network transmission, and the establishment of a base model with regional liaisons. We are developing a large-scale healthcare database for the entire Tokai region, aiming to become a trusted university hospital with close ties to the community.
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