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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.

Part3 Round-table discussion
Turn staff strength into university strength

Realizing "dreams" set in faculty and staff cooperation

We asked young staff and faculty who actually participated in each project or activity about their thoughts of the activities or what they gained through them.

Round-table discussion participants (in order of Japanese syllabary)

General Research Support Section, Administration Division, Administration and Technology Management Center for Science and Engineering
Ms. Tomoko Iijima
(Theme-based management support training participant)

Administrative Office, Toyama Campus
Mr. Keiji Sannomiya
(Hello! WASEDA Project participant)

Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Professor Naoko Shimazaki
(Participant in Gender Equality Promotion Committee activities)

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Associate Professor Makoto Notomi
(Gives theme-based lectures)

Waseda Portal Office
Ms. Naomi Hamajima
(Kohai Navi Project participant)

Personnel Division, Personnel Section
Mr. Yuki Matsumoto
(Professionals Workshop participant)

Various projects being developed at Waseda

-Firstly, please tell me how you all are involved with each project and activity.

Iijima In my second year here I took part in the Personnel Department's Theme-based management support training. One of the co-curricular sub-majors is "Strategic Environmental Research." Here, I was involved in providing support for Professor Notomi's lesson. In taking on an "older sibling" role by talking with students and giving advice on making PowerPoint presentations, I was a bridge between the professor and students.

Matsumoto I've been working here for 11 years and have been involved in Professionals Workshop for two and a half years. In this project, where businesses and the university join forces, students and professionals (businessmen) work together to solve problems encountered in the workplace and propose solution strategies to business management teams. This year we had tie-ups with eight businesses and local governments, and I participated in the regional revitalization workshop in conjunction with the ANA Research Institute.
The role of staff in this project, as well as managing the project as the bridge between the businesses, students and faculty, we conduct management so all parties can receive maximum benefits from the program.

Sannomiya I'm in currently in my eighth year. In this year's「Hello! WASEDA Project」 we held events for alumni in Hiroshima and Aichi, and events for children in Saga and Osaka where we have affiliated schools.
My reason for getting involved was the 「Innovation Award」proposal contest for staff held by the Personnel Department. Until now, management staff was involved with alumni in the form of regional coordinators, but there were no opportunities for general staff to do this. Then, two years ago, as a result of our team putting forward a proposal for general staff to have more interaction with alumni, this project was started.

Hamajima This is my fifth year here. I joined this project because I wanted students to know more about the things that can be done at Waseda. I am involved in 「Kohai Navi」, a project where students and staff work together to provide support to new entrants. Our aim is to relieve a little of the anxiety new entrants have before and after entering university, and give them a comfortable start to university life. There are four projects, Registration Navi to assist with subject registration, Kohai Navi Blog sending out daily information, Campus Navi providing a guide to the campus when lessons commence, and Class Navi which offers consultations to new entrants as a class tutor. Staff work together with students to bring these projects, which are based on proposals made from students' experiences, to life. We are often surprised by the fresh ideas offered by the students and are stimulated on a daily basis.

Notomi 「Strategic Environmental Research」 is centered around myself and two other faculty members. This is the third year of theme-based study. This is a classroom lecture which has two subjects titled "Close Analysis of Environmental Issues" and "Recompiling Environmental Issues." As a new trial we introduced a seminar format, and from last year, with the involvement of Ms. Iijima and other staff, students selected and investigated social problems by themselves, thought of a solution, and presented their findings in a symposium format.

Shimazaki As a member of this university's Gender Equality Promotion Committee Publicity and Survey Section, I am involved in preparing posters, leaflets and newsletters, and surveying faculty and staff from the whole university. There are four sections all together, all of which are teams consisting of faculty and staff, and we take on roles as a tactical team which plans and proposes, and at times implements, policies which need to be taken up by the university for the purpose of promoting gender equality.
Faculty and staff sit around a desk in the same position, and through discussions and work, hammer out and implement plans. This type of faculty-staff cooperation may still be a rarity within the university.

Conducting activities from the same viewpoint as students

-The staff are involved in projects which differ from their everyday duties. Do you discover new things through the activities?

Matsumoto One of the reasons I took this job is that I felt that I wanted to support the development of the students, so I am pleased that I can witness student development through this project. Also, staff are generally in a position where they have to face the students most of the time when dealing with them, but in this project, staff and students face in the same direction, regardless of our positions, and can work together.

Sannomiya In these project, people from completely different posts gather together to exchange opinions to achieve a single common goal. There were times when I would have my fixed notions discredited, and it was a thoroughly stimulating experience. I learnt the importance of listening to many people, and want to practice that in my current duties.
One episode I will never forget was at a lecture presented by Faculty of International Studies Professor Tomonori Morikawa on the study of love for young alumni in Aichi. Two alumni I met there got married this year. I think I also played a role as Cupid (laughs).

Hamajima 「Kohai Navi」is also a project which gathers staff from various sections. Even when we hold preliminary discussions, talks proceed with staff who have detailed knowledge of each topic taking the lead, so I feel decisions are reached in a short time. I think I learnt the importance of talking with other people and not keeping things to myself. I also believe that another merit of this project is making more acquaintances in the university through the activities.

Iijima What I noticed through the activities is that staff can also become involved in lessons. Through my everyday work, I had a strong image that "lessons are to be delivered by faculty, and staff are there to support them," but that isn't totally true. I felt that by adding a new viewpoint of staff to a lesson, it was possible for discussions to develop in a completely different course. Adding to the appeal was coming into contact with the approach to student guidance of an instructor. But more than anything, I learnt a great deal by experiencing students' intentions such as their thoughts behind enrolling in this lesson. By taking this lesson and seeing how the students change close up is probably one of the true joys for a university staff member.

Faculty・Staff・Student triangle

-A question to the two professors. What do you think the significance is in being involved in projects with faculty and staff working together?

Notomi I think it is probably better for the students than myself. There is always a wall between students and professors, with a tendency to become a one way relationship. In that atmosphere, staff members, who have a different standing, take part in the lessons. Having people from three different positions creates a good balance. Students can discuss anything, and faculty can hear things from the staff that we can't hear directly from the students. That is the greatest appeal. It may be because the lesson was conducted in a seminar format, but we were able to create an atmosphere where we weren't overly conscious of our respective positions and move in a positive direction.

Shimazaki The Gender Equality Promotion Committee looked into the current state and measures on themes such as faculty and staff work life balance and career support for young researchers and graduate school students. Because this is such a large organization, there is always going to be a vertical split within the university. How to break this down is our assignment. Fortunately, more than able staff members are involved in each section, and we can exchange information in order to create an open atmosphere by systematically pushing the right buttons in the right places. I think this is an extremely necessary group.
Also, because my major is social surveys, I can make contributions of a specialized nature to campus surveys. Conversely, preparing public relations magazines, managing events such as lecture meetings, and making documents are the forte of the staff. Making plans together and then doing the actual work in your specialist field is the best approach.
Faculty and staff roles are different, but there are many common issues we take on as members of society, such as childrearing and caregiving, and I sense that finding solutions to these will lead to an overall enhancement in the attractiveness of Waseda University. I will continue to work together with the staff and propose various measures.

Waseda Staff Data Staff numbers as of December 1, 2010

1. Breakdown of staff

2. Breakdown of place of employment (fulltime staff)

3. Project participation

Learning the process of thinking and putting things in to practice by ourselves

-Is there any thing you've learnt about yourself through these projects?

Hamajima When participating in the project, while it is also so for my normal work, I reaffirmed the importance of making proposals for the betterment of Waseda, and taking action myself.

Sannomiya That's right. Proposing new activities and actually moving to put them into practice. I think we are given opportunities to learn that process.

Matsumoto I think there are two sides to Waseda's projects. The first is that the projects produce real results. The other is staff training. The aim of the Professionals Workshop is to help the students grow, but I think a secondary result of the program is that it also leads to the growth of the staff. More than anything, we are stimulated by seeing the students put everything into their tasks, and by thinking about what we can do for those students and putting it to practice makes the staff feel it is worthwhile.

Hamajima I feel the same. Also, by working with the students, I found out that there are many positive students. We seriously think about and implement what we can do for the new students without asking for anything in return. I think it invigorates us as staff.

Iijima It was only one year, but as Professor Notomi said, I felt the need to create an atmosphere where staff can be involved long-term in the educational field. I hope that faculty and staff can join forces, and I can actively participate in new opportunities.

Waseda staff is a treasure chest of human resources

-Do you have any questions or advice to the staff from a professor's standpoint?

Shimazaki Being so busy with daily duties, how do all you staff find the time to for these project operations?

Matsumoto Project participation is perceived as part of our work. Of course there are times where it is difficult to do alongside regular duties, but because of that I have become highly conscious of schedule management. That is also one of the results of the project.

Shimazaki There is a staff member I have great respect for. Every year she remembers the names and faces of all the new students in the department by the end of April so she can deal with them when they come to her counter. She says "that is the very least a staff member can do." After hearing you all speak today, I was reassured and renewed my feelings of pleasure towards your efforts toward ensuring student growth. I believe Waseda has extremely excellent staff, a treasure chest of human resources.

Notomi Staff and faculty are certain to be involved in business. Because I am a science and engineering faculty member, there is a lot of experimental research, and the technical staff have been a great help, but the relocation of technical staff, who we have become to rely on as walking dictionaries, is a loss to technical faculty members. This may be unavoidable due to operational management constraints, but if there are going to be these types of projects, continuous interaction can be achieved regardless of position, and I think it would be very good to maintain those relationships.
I hope the university will demonstrate easier to understand staff training scenarios. If that happens, I'm sure the course of action staff members should be taking will become even clearer. I also think it would be a good idea to investigate the possibility of collaboration between the projects.

Words from the staff, My "dream"

-Finally, I would like to ask the staff where they will concentrate their energy in the future.

Hamajima First of all, I want to make this term's project a success. It is my dream to, one day, create an environment where all students will naturally support their juniors, and not just "Kohai Navi" staff. I would like to, even just a little, move towards that goal.

Sannomiya I want to increase the trend of young alumni who think "I want to be involved with the university," or "I want to have more interaction with fellow graduates." I want to provide events where children can feel close to Waseda.
In the time being, on a personal level, I would like to expand my contacts. One day I will ask Professors Shimazaki and Notomi for their cooperation in a project (laughs).

Matsumoto This project has now been running for four years and the degree of recognition among staff and students has risen. Because it is a staff-led project, how we get faculty members involved and increase educational results is a task which we face now. I want to make this an educational program with quality and quantity as well as responding to the needs of the students.
Also, I want to increase opportunities for staff to be actively involved with students, and, through staff efforts, have an increase of even one student saying, "I'm glad to have spent four years at Waseda." For example, if 800 staff members each have a positive influence on five students every year, that would equate to 4000 students who feel this way. As a way to achieve this, I want to become more active in staff projects.

Iijima I think many people became staff members because they had a dream of "I want to do this, I want to change this." The section I belong to is not linked directly to that, but if I continue to believe, the environment I have been placed in can be turned into chance. From now on I would like to challenge various opportunities other than theme-based study to sustain myself.