An Update from the Dean
Time to Move Forward
June 23, 2011
My last update was on March 3rd, about four months ago but so much has happened, it seems so much further away than just four months. I am writing this on the summer solstice which reminds me that we are halfway through nature's annual cycle, we are about halfway through the summer semester, and we are approaching the first really hot and humid days of summer. We usually mark our days by the cycles of the calendar year, but for all of us in Japan there is now a new cycle, the one that began on March 11th. We are still dealing with the problems created by those events and they are still fresh in our minds. But it is also time to begin looking forward again. Those events will have their effect on this summer's power cutbacks and reduced air conditioning. Tokyo may look like the Tokyo of 1961; a city of uchiwa, yukata, and kaki-gouri. There's nothing wrong with that; kind of pleasant in a nostalgic way. But while the stricken Northeast will take many years to recover, and there are lingering, indirect effects in Tokyo, there is no doubt that we in Tokyo and at TUJ are rapidly getting back to normal.
The completion of the spring 2011 semester was a huge accomplishment, as symbolized by the daruma ceremony conducted by President Hart, US Embassy Consul General Paul Fitzgerald, and myself at the end of graduation. Now it is time to fully turn our attention to the future development of TUJ. The crisis has created an opportunity for us to reassess what we do at TUJ and what new programs we might create for our future development, including new non-degree programs such as English-language education for primary and secondary public school teachers, business law programs for Japanese corporations, and administrative staff development programs for Japanese universities. In particular I would like to develop more programs in collaboration with multinational firms in Japan and Japanese firms that will help them increase their global competitiveness through an educated workforce.
It is in this context that I would like to mention the new Goldman Sachs Mochida Scholars Fund that we recently announced. Mr. Masanori Mochida, President of Goldman Sachs Japan, has recommended the gift to Goldman Sachs Gives, a doner-advised fund, to support underprivileged Japanese students who want to study at TUJ. This scholarship is an excellent way to develop new international leaders of Japan who would not otherwise be able to come to TUJ. It is also another means by which we can support those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. It is also very fitting that the two important American institutions in Japan join together to support the development of Japan. This brings me to my concluding point.
The US-Japan relationship since World War II is one of the most interesting in modern history. Why? Because the reigning theory in international relations, one put forward many years ago by Karl Deutsch, is that while alliances are often based on military or economic necessity, the alliances that last the longest and remain the strongest are those in which the partners share deep cultural ties and/or similarities. Nothing could be less true for Japan and the United states. They share almost nothing in terms of traditions, religion, culture, social norms of behavior, or ways of thinking. For twenty-five years they vied for control of the Pacific; Japan attacked America's Pacific Fleet without warning, and the US used nuclear weapons against Japan, the only time in history this has occurred. And yet, somehow, these two dire enemies have developed one of the longest lasting and stable alliances in modern history.
I have thought much of that bond between these two great countries and what role we at TUJ play in it. We are an international institution with students, staff and faculty from many different countries other than the US and Japan. But, on the other hand, we are an American university that exists clearly and openly as an American institution within Japan. The stresses and strains in this situation are clear for all to see, and yet the benefits for both TUJ and Japanese society are also very clear. But in the end, when it came to a crisis, TUJ's commitment to Japan, which is Temple University's commitment to Japan, was also very clear for all to see.
TUJ will have been in Japan for 30 years next year. I assume we'll be here for 30 more years at least. So, now that the crisis is over, it is time to look to the future, to get back to normal. In other words, to move forward with the never-ending process of developing an American university in Japan as a world-class institution for the benefit of students from all over the world.
With best regards,