Prof. Shigeru Kohno
President, Nagasaki University
My name is Shigeru Kohno; I was appointed as President of Nagasaki University in October 2017. Since Nagasaki University created the “Center for Gender Equality” in 2009, we have been endeavoring to promote and establish programs for supporting balance between work (research) and child-raising. Furthermore, following Professor Masako Ito’s appointment as Center Director in 2015, the name of the center was changed from the “Center for Gender Equality” to the “Center for Diversity and Inclusion” to mark Nagasaki University’s acceptance as a participant in the “Program to Supporting Research Activities of Female Researchers” for FY2015 (a Science and Technology Human Resource Development Support Project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology). In addition to initiatives we had already been carrying out successfully under the banner of “realizing a diverse environment in which everyone who studies or works at Nagasaki University can fully demonstrate their individual capabilities”, we have advanced initiatives unique to Nagasaki University that incorporate new perspectives in response to recent social changes.
The background to the promotion of diversity implies flexible responses to social change, and nowadays there is a need for not only measures for caring for young children but also escalating needs for nursing care as an important response to the aging of Japanese society. At Nagasaki University, we have established a “Nursing Care Concierge” system that involves the local community in providing support for balance between work (research) and nursing care for elderly or handicapped family members as well as training supporters to assist caregivers. Year-on-year, I can feel the response growing more and more.
We are further strengthening our childcare measures, and opened the “Nagasaki University Bunkyo Omoyai Nursery School” on April 1, 2017. Together with the “Nagasaki University Hospital Ajisai Nursery School”, this childcare facility further solidified Nagasaki University’s system for promoting work-life balance for all university staff (both teaching and administrative). As the first corporate-sponsored nursery school in Japan to be established by a national university corporation, Bunkyo Omoyai Nursery School is also a fruit of the efforts of Center Director Professor Ito and the staff of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
The “Work Style Innovation Program for Researchers” is another unique feature of the Center. Under this program, four pillars of activity—including “Female leaders training programs”— have been established, and comprehensive initiatives aimed at realizing work-life balance for university staff as well as raising the research capabilities of female researchers and increasing the number of female researchers hired and promoted are being undertaken.
I have established four basic policies for each of Nagasaki University’s important roles. Of these, with regard to “Creating a university that advantageously utilizes staff diversity and motivation” in particular, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion has an immensely important role to play. The key phrase for enabling diverse human resources to play active roles is “the right person in the right job”. By enhancing the support programs provided by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, allocating human resources effectively, and implementing “diversity management” that evaluates performance appropriately, we are sure to be able to significantly draw out staff members’ motivation and capabilities.
Creating a comfortable working environment where workers can enthusiastically devote themselves to their research activities and work duties—in order to realize this shining future, Nagasaki University will move forward firmly in partnership with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
I ask for your continuing understanding and cooperation with regard to these programs in the future.