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Inaugural Address by President Kazuhito Komiya

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The Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT), Japan’s oldest private institute of technology, is celebrating its seventieth anniversary this year. CIT has steadily developed since its establishment in 1942 under the prewar university system, and has sent 74,000 graduates out into society so far. CIT is an extremely large university, not only for Japan but also globally. I would like to offer a few remarks upon becoming the president of CIT, which is setting its course for a new era.

CIT’s founding documents state that the school’s philosophy is to train people vital to the nation and to imbue them with a desire to learn and seek knowledge throughout the world. The importance of academics increases in eras filled with great changes. One has a sense of the limitless expectations regarding learning and the fundamental educational ideals in our school philosophy that was drafted in the turbulent World War II era. I believe that this philosophy is a wellspring that generates the creativity needed to open the way to the future even in our modern society, in which people are hoping for reliable guides.

During the four-year period before I became CIT’s president, I was in charge of entrance examinations. The number of applicants grew by a few thousand each year as a result of the entire university’s efforts to boost CIT’s appeal, and at last year’s entrance exams we had 31,758 applicants, the largest number since CIT was established. This means that our campus is now full of students who enrolled in CIT after beating out fierce competition.

However, surveying the world outside our campus, we are confronted by various issues that must be resolved globally. Further, there are concerns about Japan’s diminished status in international society. It is precisely in these sorts of times that universities need to play active roles in solving problems.

I taught at an overseas university in my younger days. I hope to put that experience to use to train people who can be active in global society and acquire a robust education, a high degree of expertise and an international perspective. To that end, I think that CIT will need to carry out educational reforms, become more international and promote the use of information and communications technology, and become a university imbued with even more dynamism.

CIT has provided society with numerous outstanding research achievements. For example, CIT received the third-largest allocation of government funds for scientific research among thirty Japanese science and technology universities this year, an indication of the university’s high research standards. Our research standards and achievements not only tie in with an advanced education, but also creating a large network between society and the university.

Multifaceted approaches are needed to solve single problems in modern society, which has developed to a high degree and become more complex. Possessing a network among companies, universities and local governments in Japan and overseas, sustained by tradition and actual achievements, CIT has the proficiency and capabilities to solve complicated problems. This network is a major benefit for students enrolled at CIT who are job-hunting and in graduates’ careers. We will promote research support to further develop and strengthen this network with society.

The primary objective of a university is education and research, and these two elements have a complementary relationship. If one is lacking, the other cannot produce satisfactory results. We need a system in which faculty can have a sense of pride as they go about their work of educating outstanding students, so that both are satisfactory and the university grows. People are indeed a university’s biggest assets, and acquiring and training talented faculty to handle the responsibilities of educating talented students and sending them out into society is the key strategic issue. Therefore, the highest priority issue in education is to create an organization in which teachers can approach education and research thoroughly and calmly.

Additionally, it is important to expand student support systems to make student life more dynamic, strengthen the ability of students to find jobs that suit them, and elicit their enthusiasm. By restructuring comprehensive student support mechanisms that extend from enrollment through career development and employment, I hope to strengthen not just academic abilities, but also the ability of students to adapt to society and find employment that suits them.

We will have a thorough understanding of competitive society to aim higher and proceeding in positive directions. Our graduates will truly feel pride in their alma mater. We will be trusted and loved by the people of the community and the world. I believe CIT should continue to be that kind of university. As part of our efforts to achieve that goal, I will work to strategically develop CIT’s education and research, promptly undertaking evaluations and restructuring of existing policies while working on various new policies. I would like to close these remarks with a heartfelt request for everyone’s support and cooperation.

29th June, 2012
President Professor Kazuhito Komiya, PhD