The Rigakubu News

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Advisory Council of Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science for 2022 was held

Tatsuya Tsukuda (Vice Dean for 2022 / Professor, Department of Chemistry)

The day of the Advisory Council

The Advisory Council of Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science was held on Thursday, March 16, 2022. The Advisory Council is held every year as a valuable opportunity to hear frank and constructive opinions from professors (listed below) who are active in various fields regarding issues and the future direction of the Graduate School of Science and the Faculty of Science. Last year, the meeting was held in a hybrid format due to the spread of the new coronary disease, but this year it was held in person with adequate infection control measures in place.

The Advisory Council proceeded under the chairmanship and facilitation of Dr. Masahiko Hayashi. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Masahiro Hoshino, Dean of Graduate School of Science, reported on the current status of the Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science, research excellence, and contributions to society, followed by a report on the internationalization of education and research by Dr. Tatsuya Tsukuda, Vice Dean of Graduate School of Science. The advisory committee members then took advantage of the break to visit the reopened Science Gallery. Then, Atsushi Kawakita, Director of the Academic Affairs Committee, and Yuichi Iino, Vice Dean of the Graduate School, reported on Faculty of Education and Graduate School education, and Kotaro Kono, Director of the Gender Equality Office, reported on the efforts for gender equality. Finally, Mr. Yoshio Takahashi, Director of Student Support Office and Career Support Office, Mr. Satoru Nogami, Principal URA of Research Strategy and Development Office, Mr. Yuichi Iino, Director of Public Relations Office, and Mr. Takemasa Ozawa, Director of Environmental Safety Management Office, reported their respective activities. Active discussion and exchange of opinions ensued, including the status of responses to comments received in the previous fiscal year. The following are some of the suggestions made by the committee members regarding future efforts to address various issues.

Regarding research excellence: Universities are nowadays evaluated and compared by a ranking system based on various indicators. It is important to consider what indicators are appropriate for evaluating the activities of Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science. It would be good to take this further and create a ranking system based on our own evaluation criteria.

Regarding internationalization: In order to promote international education through budget request projects such as "Global Standard of Science," it is important to hire excellent foreign faculty members based on a flexible salary system. However, in order to prevent the outflow of excellent human resources from overseas, I think it is time to establish an evaluation system and distribute salaries more flexibly. In addition, as a result of internationalized education, isn't it necessary to create an environment in which international students can remain in Japan after graduation and play an active role?

Regarding gender equality: Since the ratio of women in doctoral programs in the sciences has remained at around 20% for 25 years, it makes sense to set this as the final target for the ratio of women. On the other hand, as a long-term strategy to improve the ratio of women in doctoral programs, it would be effective to explain to parents and teachers at elementary, junior high, and high schools that entering science and mathematics courses will expand opportunities for women to play active roles. It may also be effective to show role models who are active in fields other than research and to create a network of female graduates.

Finally, I received a strong message of support for these recommendations, saying that it would be good if people would start where they can, but that for true change, it would also be necessary to take the plunge without worrying about others. All participants from the Executive Committee and administrative staff of the Graduate School of Science and the Faculty of Science were encouraged by this message for the further development of the Graduate School of Science and the Faculty of Science. After the Advisory Council, a reception was held in a friendly atmosphere. I would like to once again thank the Advisory Council members for their efforts during their busy schedules.


Appendix: List of Advisory Council Members (titles omitted)
Kiyokazu Agata, National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
Yukako Uchinaga, Director, NPO J-Win
Maki Kawai, Director, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
Shigeo Koyasu, Director, RIKEN
Kimio Hanawa, Executive Vice President, Yamagata University
Masahiko Hayashi, Executive Vice President, Bonn Research Liaison Center, JSPS


Published in Faculty of Science News May 2023