New Year Greeting from the Chief Executive Director and Chair of the Board
I wish you all very happy holidays and much success in the New Year.
Last year, we again faced successive waves of COVID-19. Fortunately, the number of cases with severe symptoms seems to be decreasing, partly due to the effectiveness of vaccinations. In fact, although reports of infections among students, faculty and staff members frequently reach me, almost all cases are mild (or asymptomatic). I myself got infected after a business trip to Vietnam last September, but the symptoms were mild enough that I was able to participate in both on- and off-campus work online during my hotel quarantine. I once again realized that we are now in an era in which we carry on our lives and work despite COVID-19. Having said that, it is best not to get infected as we need to follow certain behavior restrictions to prevent spreading the infection to others.
In the University, face-to-face classes have restarted for almost all courses. As I mentioned in last year’s New Year greeting, the online classes introduced to ensure students’ learning opportunities, are believed to meet the various needs of students through effective combinations with face-to-face classes. The digital transformation that has occurred quite quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on our educational and research activities. In this regard, I hope that online classes will be utilized more meaningfully, especially on the global level.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three major Ekiden races have been affected, including restrictions on cheering along the race route, but last year the races finally regained their true form. Our Ekiden team placed 3rd in the Izumo Ekiden, and 7th in the Japan Collegiate Ekiden Championship. We can see that our team is significantly building up their strength toward the Hakone Ekiden held at New Years. The Hakone Ekiden may once again be held without spectators since there is a concern regarding an increase in COVID-19 infections, but please offer your support by watching on television. I hope all the team members will give their best efforts toward an excellent performance.
Chuo University’s mid- to long-term institutional plan, “Chuo Vision 2025,” will enter its eighth year in 2023. Construction projects on the Tama Campus have been completed, and the Global Gateway Chuo and the Forest Gateway Chuo seem to have taken root in the students’ lives, establishing a new entrance for the Tama Campus. The construction of the Myogadani Campus, the new location for the Faculty of Law, is almost completed as well. With the relocation of the Faculty of Law, new legal education will be undertaken through collaboration with the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Faculty of Global Informatics, and the Chuo Law School. On the Ichigaya Tamachi Campus, the Graduate School of Global Informatics will open from this spring. The new Surugadai Campus will soon be completed as well and will house the Chuo Law School and the Chuo Business School, while serving as a central Tokyo base for alumni. Furthermore, reconstruction of Building No. 1 on the Korakuen Campus has also begun. With these new campuses completed, Chuo University will consist of the Tama Campus, the largest campus, and a newly expanded group of Campuses in the downtown Tokyo area. The number of students downtown will be much greater than before, since nearly half (45%) of all students will be studying on Campuses in Bunkyo, Chiyoda, and Shinjuku wards from AY2023. Taking this opportunity, Chuo will further enhance collaboration between the Campuses, promoting digital transformation of education and of various services that support education.
“Chuo Vision 2025” is progressing as detailed above, and we are now at the stage of preparing for the formulation of the next mid- to long-term plan (2026–2035). As might be expected, the future plan for the Tama Campus will be a major policy issue in the next mid- to long-term plan, and we have been discussing this under the Comprehensive Strategy Promotion Committee since AY2022. Regarding the new education and research environment centered on the Tama Campus, we would like to formulate a plan as a corporation, reflecting the opinions of the academic administration, led by the President.
In addition, I feel the need to strengthen the identity of Chuo University while promoting its historical role, especially for young people. As one way to achieve this, we as a corporation are planning to establish an archive in the Tama Student Research Building “Honoo-no-Tou” to preserve and honor the achievements of our graduates and others who have made great contributions to the protection and establishment of fundamental human rights and the development of society. We believe this archive will be useful in educating students about the history of Chuo, as well as in raising awareness of the social contributions at the University.
Finally, I am convinced that promoting the advancement of research and education and industry-academia-government cooperation through the steady day-to-day efforts of the faculties, as well as enhancing cooperation among the members of the University community, will enrich students’ learning, boost their satisfaction, and, further, raise Chuo University to the level of a “university with a global presence.” We, the members of the Board, will make every effort to contribute to the accomplishment of this goal, and I ask all faculty, staff, and alumni across Japan and abroad for your cooperation and support.
Hoping the COVID-19 pandemic situation will continue to improve, I wish you all a fulfilling and successful year ahead.
Chief Executive Director
Chair of the Board
January 1, 2023