Basic position on university administration
November 16, 2004 (Released on campus)
January 31, 2005 (Partially revised and published)
ex-president, Nagoya University
As it is almost one year since the launch of National University Corporation Nagoya University, I like to analyze the present state of the University and to summarize our basic attitude toward future operation based on the actual achievements made so far for infrastructure development. (Genenal Outline)
What Nagoya University aims to achieve
It is the responsibility of the academics and science of the 21st century to attain sustainable development on a global scale by expanding their "bright" sides while controlling their "dark" sides. Nagoya University is also expected to play a role as the "base for wisdom" to address these human historical issues. For this purpose, the Academic Charter of Nagoya University (hereinafter referred to as the "Academic Charter") emphasizes the "harmonious development of human nature and science".
Nagoya University, in the course of its relatively short history of about 60 years since its foundation, has raised outstanding research and educational accomplishments in the academic culture based on its lively and judicial spirit worth to be proud of, which can be represented by receipt of the Nobel Prize of University Professor Ryoji Noyori. We are determined to further work on developing "human resources" (fostering courageous intellectuals) through developing "achievements" (outstanding research outcomes) as a result of consistent efforts in this academic culture which is capable to embody technology into "skilled manufacture".
Fundamentals of operation
The basics of operation of the University are already stated in the Academic Charter. And, based on this statement, what is required to the President's leadership, I believe, is to listen to various opinions from all the constituent members and to make adjustments and set a course so that their collective strengths can be activated to a maximum extent. Since the incorporation of National Universities, universities are now bound to take all the administrative responsibilities for which judgment and practice based on an across-the-board view is required. Administrative efforts should be dedicated to most appropriately allocate the human and financial resources so as to establish a solid "base for wisdom" which is highly competitive and can assume responsibility to both history and society.
Under the circumstances where the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has set out its policy to continuously reduce the administrative cost subsidy, universities are expected to face severe administrative environment. We would like to address this circumstance by collecting wisdom of all constituent members. As stated in the "medium-term objectives and plan", our present objectives include the following: It is necessary.
- to foster courageous intellectuals and to raise the world's highest intellectual achievements through consistently carrying out creative activities in education and research as the university's mission,
- to contribute to the society and the region through these conducts, and
- to maintain sound financial operation and to secure work environment so that all the constituent members can use their ability with confidence. For this purpose, constant efforts and awareness raising are requested to the constituent members. In order to operate the university in a self-motivating and self-governing manner under such severe conditions,
- as the immediate objective, it is necessary to build up the organizational operation system where university's administrative function including finance in addition to education and research is reinforced.
On the other hand, partial shift of the national university corporate funds into the competitive funds has also started. As the future university operating foundations will also depend on competence to acquire competitive funds and external funds, the constituent members are expected to make efforts in such acquisition. Within the University, in addition to the core research bases, we would like to focus on the exploratory researches that have potentiality and the basic academic fields when allocating the research base budget.
According to FY2005 budget request, new frameworks such as the special education research expenses and various competitive fund programs have become emphasized. It should be reminded one more time that we must make efforts to acquire competitive funds as a net increase in fundamental funds is most unlikely to happen. On the other hand, review of the existing expenditure is an urgent matter, concerning which the constituent members are requested to raise awareness. At the same time, with regard to financial management which is crucial in incorporation, we like to further improve our office work organization to accommodate a downsizing environment, by drastically reexamining daily works, by learning useful information from other existing independent administrative institutions, private schools, private enterprises, etc, and by rationalizing and facilitating works by means of the downward transfer of authority, etc.
After incorporation, this judicial person is run and managed by the Board of Trustees consisting of President and seven trustees, the Education & Research Council, and the Administrative Council. In accordance with the objectives management method provided by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the University operation is carried out based on the medium-term objectives and the medium-term plan that the University itself has set for the next six years. And, the largest efforts should be made toward attainment of the objectives and plan, while self-inspection/evaluation and external assessment are always taken into consideration.
Improvement of various committees becomes an important issue in operation. For this purpose, we would like to drastically reduce the number of the University's committees by elimination and consolidation and to discuss simplifying the Deans & Directors Committee, the committees composed of the deans and directors, and the Center Council so as to establish the governing system where the teaching staff can dedicate themselves to education and research as much as possible.
Education & Research structure
In addition to the existing education & research structure, the University's foundational structure is established by use of 5% of the total authorized number of teaching staff. However, due to various factors, this 5% framework cannot be fully utilized at present. Therefore, in order to effectively carry through the objectives which are shared by the whole University (assessment plan, international exchange, information, etc.) cross-divisionally, we are planning to set up a new structure by combining offices of teaching staff and by introducing new expert staff. Based on a decision of the core committee, we are expecting to finalize the draft in the medium-term objectives and the medium-term plan. At the time of establishment of the new system of the University level, a part of the 5% framework will be lent out for a limited period so that the initial stage activity is smoothly implemented.
We intend to design, at the earliest possible time, the operational management system which can achieve accountability to the society. With regard to academic-industrial alliance, a new viewpoint or standard based on the researcher's ethic is necessary. A new standard should be introduced on the side job and concurrent post and the Conflict of Interest Management Committee should be set up to appropriately deal with joint researches, etc.
"Learning" is humanity itself, which has to be developed by the whole University in cooperation between arts and sciences. In the 21st Century COE Program, 14 items were adopted and received high acclaim. As one of the core universities which cover various academic fields, it is essential to further develop the specialized basic academic fields of arts and sciences in a balanced manner. In addition, efforts should be made to cultivate exploratory researches and to discuss focused investment in them. Starting in this fiscal year, the open recruitment was carried out on campus and 18 groups were already given the incentives for encouragement from the President discretionary spending.
The Institute for Advanced Research is a good representation of Nagoya University. Its functions need to be further enriched and strengthened. As part of its efforts, we will discuss establishment of the International Advisory Board to obtain the world's top level evaluations and advices.
Joint development of medical techniques by means of cooperation of medicine and engineering is now gathering momentum. For example, as an extension of this, establishment of "LifeTopia Institute (provisional name)", a new interdisciplinary organization with the theme of preventive and maintenance therapies, health promotion and geriatric medicine, etc., will be discussed in the course of redevelopment of Daiko Campus.
The foundation of the University education lies in the "General Education" up to the second year. During this period, it is important to enable students to understand the whole shebang of learning and to acquire critical way of thinking. Considering of importance of the initial year in this regard, the educational menu to build up the foundation of all-round education should be introduced at the time of enrollment. For this purpose, efforts should be made to improve and expand the Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences. The University's challenge regarding education improvement has been highly regarded in the Good Practice Program (GP Program). Our efforts will aim to foster the ability to develop themes and the challenging spirit to create a new field, offering quality education to cultivate human resources to actively participate globally.
In order to build, succeed, and develop the "base for wisdom", it is essential to foster young people with wide views and original ideas. In this respect, setting up the "Super Academic School (provisional name)" will be discussed, aiming to foster graduate students with potential to be world-class next-generation researchers and leaders of societies and organizations.
The 2005 Master Plan is prepared, according to which the general basic principles including "integrated improvement under the University-wide cooperation" and "flexible utilization of land and facilities" are put into practice. Furthermore as a plaza for social linkage, in addition to foundation of "Akasaki Memorial Research Center", establishment of the "Souchi Exchange Plaza (provisional name)" which also includes the renewal project of the Toyota Auditorium is planned. Efforts will also be made to improve the students' welfare program.
It is an authentic way of creation and use of intellectual assets of a university that the results of pursuit of basic researches be linked to patent acquisition and industrialization. As for the regional linkage, holding forums for citizens including junior and high school students as well as setting up its relevant organ "Nagoya University Friendship Club (provisional name)" are now being discussed. Using the Aichi Expo and the opening of the Chubu International Airport as good springboards, we like to promote a large-scale basic research project in cooperation with the region by planning the "Advanced Measurement Assessment Center (provisional name)" which mainly includes the optical science nano-factory and the electronic microscope facility.
It is considered necessary to build the "International Exchange Cooperation General Headquarter (provisional name)" which includes the Academic Consortium (AC21), Education Center for International Students, other relevant on-campus centers, etc. Also, in relation to foundation of the international exchange bases overseas, it becomes an urgent issue to secure specialist personnel to be engaged in matters concerning international exchange. In August this year, an international forum concerning "people's living" focused on environment issues as well as a students' forum as the worldwide collaborative activity are scheduled to be held.
It is necessary to further raise awareness among the faculty members, to thoroughly re-examine daily works, and to aim rationalization, simplification, and facilitation of clerical works. Accountability to the society must be observed by constant improvement in professional ethics and researcher ethics. We aim to build a work environment filled with human kindness by retrenching overtime work, promoting gender equality, preventing harrassments, etc.
We will intend to provide each of the five work places with a general safety and health manager, a health manager, an industrial physician, a Health and Safety Committee, etc., further improving the work environment which can contribute to maintaining and improving people's health. Addressing natural disasters is an urgent issue, for which the Nagoya University Regulations on Natural Disaster Mitigation and the relevant manuals will be prepared with the aim to establish a disaster-resistant campus.
Affiliated / attached facilities
While taking the leadership in health care of the region, we will make efforts to establish a medical environment which aims to improve safety and quality of medical care. It is required to the affiliated hospital to practice high-quality medical care and also to provide high-quality medical education and medical research. For the sake of medical staff and administrative staff who support the hospital, it is an urgent matter to establish a highly efficient organization system and a personnel management system for them. As the University holds a high amount of redemption, realizing more robust hospital operation is aimed, including further curtailment of expenditure and introduction of external funds.
Efforts should be made to improve and expand the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory and the Research Institute of Environmental Medicine as well as to develop and expand the attached centers. As for the newly founded EcoTopia Science Institute, efforts shall be made to improve the research system and to set up a laboratory. As for the attached schools, while the existing discussion is further continued, a new discussion from the University-wide point of view in the light of cooperative education by the junior/senior high schools and the University becomes necessary.
Efforts should be made to sustain in good condition the university-wide alumni association established two years ago as it being a collaborative organ that can offer feeling of unity with the University beyond boundaries of fields. Some branches have already been set up including Kanto Branch, Enshu-kai, and Kansai Branch.