Susumu Satomi, Tohoku University President
Over more than a century, Tohoku University’s tradition of Research First, philosophy of Open Doors, and ethos of Practice-Oriented Research and Education have produced excellent graduates, generated numerous research achievements, and contributed to the development of a peaceful and just society.
Today, dramatic advances in information technology and progress in globalization are transfiguring our communities into a single borderless community in which diverse values and cultures interact. This confronts us with a variety of global-scale issues. If we examine the domestic situation, Japan faces a rapidly aging population combined with low birthrates. Our society demands continuous innovation and the creation of new value to achieve sustainable development and growth. Moreover, the task of finding and clarifying the path to realizing new forms of community have become urgent in light of the unprecedented damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
So, what issues should universities address now and hereafter? In times such as these, our university must continue its endeavors to create new value, of course in Japan, but also with the intent of contributing to the stability and development of the international community. By looking ahead to global trends and future challenges, we have assessed Tohoku University’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential to determine a direction for our university (the Seven-Vision Plan) during my five-year presidential term (2013-2017), and the policies and schedule that will help us get there.
This vision conceives of Tohoku University as a fellowship of knowledge, open to the world, where people with diverse values can gather, learn, and create. It is based on my own concept for creating an efficient environment in which each individual student, instructor, and staff member can fulfill his or her own potential. By combining the strengths of our diverse constituents, we will steadily work to obtain our two goals of Achieving World-Class Status and Leaping Ahead, and Leading the Post-earthquake Restoration and Regeneration. Therefore, policies implemented by the university administration under the leadership of the President alone will be insufficient; it will be necessary for the entire university to work together for the future in order to proceed with these objectives. The role I wish to play is as follows: in addition to the Satomi Vision, which expresses our university-wide, cross-departmental undertakings, I will clarify and integrate the individual organizational policies of the advanced and diverse graduate schools, faculties, and Research Institutes that comprise our university, and present this to the public as the Tohoku University Global Vision, which outlines the ideal form I envision for us.