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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)


Staff power

—The driving force behind Waseda—

In order to achieve the important goals of "Waseda Next 125", a high level of consciousness to actively participate is required of staff.
Therefore, we will cast a spotlight on the staff and introduce the various approaches they are involved in.

Part1 Interview
Aiming to creation of new university value

New roles required of staff

Seiji Honda
Vice-President, Waseda University

We asked Vice-President Seiji Honda about required roles and expectations of staff.

Creating new value through cooperation between faculty and staff

-In the university's mid and long term plan "Waseda Next 125", as part of the creation of a new education and research system, structural reform of the staff training system has been raised as an issue. In what way have the roles required of university staff changed?

Findings of the Central Council for Education show that functional development of faculty who support the substantiality of university education is an issue. As well as academic staff FD (faculty development), in the midst of intensification and complications about an issue surrounding university management, SD(staff development) has also been emphasized. Even at this university, through "Waseda Next 125", we have objectively reviewed staff strengths and intensified human resource training.

Looking back, it is a fact that this university has produced a diverse range of human resources until now, but that can probably be put down to having a high standard of education. Businesses also educate fresh personnel from scratch and no longer have the leeway to invest in training. It is no wonder that parents worried about their child's future after graduation have raised their expectations of university education.

By using the limited resources of the university to the full in order to send out students who have the added value of being able to cope with the complicated issues of globalization, faculty and staff must demonstrate their roles 120 percent and expand the possibilities of the university. That is shown in the concept of "faculty and staff cooperation."

-What does "faculty and staff cooperation" mean?

Until now, faculty and staff have carried out their respective roles, but not enough to say they had an interest in each other's area. I think there is a side to it where staff didn't have a deep enough understanding of how much preparation tutors put into making a good lesson, or how students feel. But, in that case, without cooperation you can't have understanding. By recognizing common goals and stepping into each others area, each function is raised and the university's potential is lifted. It can be said the goals of FD and SD are common.

Also, in relation to new problems that must be tackled by the university as a whole, we have taken them on with faculty and staff cooperation from the outset. This can be seen in harassment prevention and gender equality, and a regional exchange forum being held over the whole country.

Reform that comes with operations in the form of human resource training

-Since the latter half of the 1990s, staff have conducted various projects such as the Computerization Promotion Program and English Education Reform Program. At the moment, they are undertaking projects such as Theme-Based Study (co-curricular sub-major) Management Support Training and the Professionals Workshop. What are the necessary functions for project operations?

At our university, projects have been ranked as part of human resource training. In projects which cross between different sections, you can learn many things that can't be acquired in routine work. Through the experience of overcoming the barriers between sections and people, you can learn communication and presentation skills as well as leadership skills. Furthermore, you can obtain management skills for starting up projects and completing them within a certain timeframe.

Centered on staff who have acquired project execution skills, a new value for the university, while calling upon the strengths of alumni and students, can be created.

-Please tell us about the workshop project and reform strategy method "WISDOM", which was developed by university staff.

This is a method originally developed for computerization promotion which evolved into something that can be used in every field for general purposes. Its distinguishing feature is that you start out not to resolve an "existing condition", but to aim for an "ideal" through agreement of the members. For example, after gaining mutual recognition for a goal on "What is ideal student service?", action can start to be taken. This is a method created from the bottom up culture at Waseda, and is a functioning method that can be used in all fields.

-What is required of staff in order to realize globalization?

Because the university already has a global presence, it is necessary that the staff that make up the university have a global sense as well. We have overseas training and internships for staff, but it has no meaning at all it they can't utilize what they learnt there. It is essential to not only gain language skills in one's area, but also to acquire an understanding of different cultures and communication skills. I think this can be achieved through working groups and projects.

Having a familiar existence as resources of Waseda University

-For students, what type of existence should university staff aspire to becoming?

For students to have a meaningful university life depends on, of course, how good the researchers and educators they come across are, and how well they utilize cultural resources such as the library and computer room. Furthermore, how well they use the staff will influence matters. Staff have a familiar existence as resources of this university, and I believe we must increase the value they possess for students.

-Finally, what are your expectations of the staff?

Project operations will always offer discoveries and feelings of accomplishment that can't be achieved through everyday work. For example, when someone proposes a plan, a large majority of the staff will be able to execute it, and when "faculty and staff cooperation" becomes the norm, the university will become even more spirited. With the development of new roles, we can respond to the expectations of students and the community.

5 human resource training programs

With the aim of developing staff functions, five human resource training programs have been implemented.

Faculty cooperation training Lesson management support training, theme-based study support training etc.
Project staff training Participant application-type projects, practical training for project proposals and planning, joint WISDOM training with cooperating universities, innovation awards, education, office, and operations investigation team, Kohai Navi, Hello! WASEDA Project, Professionals Workshop etc.
Globalization promotion training Dispatch training (graduate school exchanges, business experiences and group investigations), dispatch training for cooperating overseas universities (language training and internships), Tutorial English / Chinese, Online English, English email and writing training etc.
Broad vision training University management seminars etc.
High level management skills training Split level training (1-5 years of employment),management for beginners, basic management training, administrative training (management for new administrators, MBA seminar for administrators, management seminars for directors) etc.

Seiji Honda
Vice-President, Waseda University

Entered Waseda University as a staff member after graduating from the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences II. Took up current position after experience as Administrative Director of IT promotion Section in Academic Affairs Division, Administrative Director of Academic Affairs Division, Director of Personnel Division, and Director of the Office of the President.