An Update from the Dean Stronach

Happy Holidays and a Great New Year of the Tiger to Everyone!

December 31, 2009

I am writing this just as the year 2009 is winding down so I feel like taking stock of the old year and using our accomplishments to propel us into next year.

In this past year we all did a great job in continuing to move TUJ forward even though we faced some real challenges such as the continued economic recession, the high value of the yen, and the H1N1 Swine flu outbreak.

  • Despite the economic recession TUJ finished the year in a strong position because we were able to maintain our enrollments in a very tough market.
  • We successfully ran several English summer programs at the Tohoku Koeki Bunka University in Yamagata Prefecture for their students and local residents, as well as academic skills and English preparation programs for Gakugei U.'s affiliated high school and middle school as a prototype for similar programs with other top high schools and middle schools in the greater Tokyo region.
  • TUJ and Musashi U. created a collaborative partnership that was kicked off in October by a joint symposium on the meaning of liberal arts education to celebrate the beginning of our partnership.
  • We have begun working with the Asia Pacific Regional Office of the International Baccalaureate to become an IB professional development center.

We were able to accumulate the above accomplishments because we have such a great group of people working here at TUJ. I was on the main campus during the first week of December and had 28 meetings in four days with everyone from President Hart and Provost Lisa on down to working level staff. Maintaining close relations between campuses 8,000 miles apart can be difficult but everyone back in Philadelphia is very aware of the great efforts we have made here on the Japan Campus over the last year and, as always, give us a great deal of support. Temple University is moving forward with a new international strategy based on its Strategic Compass, and the Japan Campus will take a leading role.

Next year is a year of the tiger (寅年), which is my birth year and that of my older daughter, and I feel very tiger-like. I think that the overall economic situation will begin to improve more than it has, and the dollar will become stronger against the yen. I think that after holding the line for more than a year or so, we can start a gradual expansion. So, now that we've seen the past year's accomplishments, here's what we are looking forward to next year.

  • We have made our formal proposal for a Japanese Language Major here at TUJ and will have it in place by next fall.
  • We have applied to the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) to jointly sponsor with Musashi U. next year's national JASSO conference in November.
  • We hope to complete a MOU with Franklin College of Switzerland (also accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools) on a range of academic and administrative linkages.
  • We will begin to explore a new range of 3+2 articulation programs with the main campus in which students will enroll in Temple University for a five-year Master's degree, the first three here on the Japan Campus and the last two on the main campus.
  • We will develop new "pathway" articulation agreements between a select number of US community colleges and TUJ.
  • And of course we will continue to expand the IB, Academic English Programs, partnerships with Musashi and other institutions, and other initiatives we began in 2009.
Christmas Card

Finally, I think that Momoko Nagaiwa's holiday greeting card set off the end of our year perfectly. Momoko was the winner of my competition for the TUJ card this year. Her card is a perfect representation of the excellence of TUJ and what its students can achieve.

Have a great new year!