An Update from the Dean Stronach

Welcome Back

September 29, 2008

I want to welcome all our new students and welcome back our continuing students. As you can tell by the hustle and bustle in both Azabu and Mita Halls we continue to grow, enrollments were up by about 10 percent this year and undergraduate enrollment is up to about 850 students.

I got back in mid-September from an extended trip to the United States for vacation and business at the main campus in Philadelphia. My vacation was great. I go back home to the lake in Maine (Belgrade Lakes) where my brother, sister, and I grew up and have a great time swimming, golfing, kayaking, windsurfing and just laying around the camp with our extended families. At one point there were about 14 of us at camp.

The photo is of my nephew and his son. The camp is located on the peninsula just above his head. There is nothing like slipping into the velvet smooth water at 6.00 in the morning as the mist rises into the dawn; or lying out at night on the dock looking up at the millions of stars and listening to the loons call out to each other across the lake. It is as far away from life in Tokyo as one can get. The weather in Maine at the end of August is perfect, about 10C at night and 20 during the day, sunny, and crystal clear.

My brother and I have ridden motorcycles together for more than 40 years and we keep up the tradition by taking a motorcycle trip together every summer. This time it was a two-day trip up through the White Mountains. The picture is of me taking a break on the Kankamangas Highway on the Harley Road King.

But it is back to work now and I am really looking forward to the up-coming year. I met with the provost, many deans, and other leaders of Temple University at the main campus, including Interim Vice-President for International Affairs, Adelaide Ferguson. The newly instituted program has a whole new office and a great deal of energy. We had many meetings discussing future strategy for the Japan campus and I will be sharing much of that with you as the year progresses. I can tell you that Temple University has a great regard for and high hopes for the Japan campus and we will be conducting a very broad review of our strategy in the near future. Some of the issues to be discussed are our plans for developing a new campus here in Tokyo (as you can see we are growing so much that we are beginning to run out of space!), the need to leverage our strengths through creative partnering with Japanese universities, and review of academic programs with an eye to proving programs that are most attractive to and most beneficial for our students.

I want to congratulate the new president of the student government, Yitzhak Medan, and I look forward to meeting with students soon, as I did in the last semester, to discuss the issues that are foremost on your mind. And, on a related note, elections will probably be held soon here in Japan, in the US they will be held in November. The majority of our students are either Japanese or American and I hope that they participate in their respective elections. But wherever you are from and whatever your home country, I hope all TUJ students are active in making it and the world a better place.

With best regards,