Greeting from the 18th President of Osaka University, Shojiro NISHIO, on his appointment
Osaka University was founded in 1931 as the sixth imperial university of Japan through strong demand from the business and government sectors of Osaka, as well as the people of Osaka City and Prefecture. The roots of Osaka University can be found in Kaitokudo and Tekijuku of the Edo period. The academic culture and spirit of these two places of scholarship are inherited even today, and the spirit of innovation and a restless spirit of challenge serve as the cornerstone for our endeavors in education and research. And after a huge undertaking merging Osaka University with Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 2007, the university has shown that it will continue to develop as one of Japan’s leading comprehensive research universities.
As you may already know, the environment surrounding national universities is rapidly changing. The current wave of globalization is surging at a furious pace, and there is a strong expectation and demand in human resources and industry-education collaboration from the nation and society. An important responsibility of the university is to answer the mandates of the citizens and society alongside promoting the very best in education and research.
Even in circumstances such as these, Osaka University has accepted diversity, displayed its flexibility toward change, and sports traits that value the individual. In addition, Osaka University possesses an excellent “foundation” and “strength” woven by high level education and research ability, the strength of faculty harmony, the weight of tradition and the land advantage that is Osaka. I resolve to build a firm foundation for Osaka University through utilizing this outstanding potential and connecting the true worth of each individual with the evolution of Osaka University. In addition, I intend to fully pursue the mutual linkage of the diverse knowledge possessed by Osaka University, like an orchestration of knowledge, as well as the continued creation of this outstanding knowledge by students, faculty, and staff, a co-creation of sorts, and its contribution to society. Simply put, I will push this “orchestration and co-creation of knowledge” to its limits.
Promotion of dialogue and adhering to autonomy are both advocated in the Osaka University Charter, enacted in March 2003. In other words, this represents the mutual respect between faculty, staff, and students through dialogue, regardless of position, as well as the belief in one’s own solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. I aim to place a particular focus on these fundamental principles while widely implementing them campus-wide.
In haiku, there is a principle of being both fluid and unchanging, and in the mission and role of a national university, I believe that there are things that we mustn’t change and things that we must. It is important to flexibly answer the call of society and its citizens while also maintaining a positive tradition. I intend to place an emphasis on this approach while exerting all of my energy for the evolution and expansion of Osaka University.
I humbly request your support and cooperation.
August 26, 2015
President, Osaka University
An Interview with the 18th President of Osaka University, Shojiro NISHIO (from Osaka University NewsLetter No. 69 [September, 2015]) (link in Japanese)