Explanation of Shizuoka University: Instructors and Staff Members Credo
Comprehensive Strategy Conference (March 25, 2009), Approved
Planning and Coordination Conference (April 1, 2009), Reported
The Shizuoka University holds as its goal the creation of a peaceful and joyful future based on the philosophy of Freedom and Enlightenment & Creation of the Future.
The instructors and staff members of Shizuoka University shall strive for the fulfillment of this common goal; maintain an awareness of their professional obligations; spare no effort to fulfill those obligations through cooperative action and a division of responsibilities; cooperate with all who are associated with Shizuoka University while respecting the diversity of backgrounds and values; engage in education, research, social cooperation, and the operation of the university with energy and passion; and work for the advancement of Shizuoka University and the local community.
As defined in the vision of Shizuoka University, the University aims to promote high-quality education and creative research, cooperate with the community, and be visible as a partner of society, based on the principle of Freedom and Enlightenment & Creation of the Future. The Instructors and Staff Members Credo of Shizuoka University constitutes a specific guideline for sharing this vision on the way to achieving its realization.
This purpose has been reflected in the wording of this document, placing Shizuoka University itself as the sentence subject of title. Furthermore, from the same perspective, this document is concluded by emphasizing, in line with the consistent theme of the vision statement, the vital role that instructors and staff members play in creating Shizuoka University into what it is.
In order to create one united Shizuoka University, it is of necessity that all instructors and staff members of the University share the same goal. In this regard, no distinction is made between students and instructors and staff members, educational and administrative staff, or men and women. On the contrary, by respecting and embracing the diversity of duties, functions, backgrounds, and value preferences, Shizuoka University will emerge as a creation in which we can take pride.
Nevertheless, toward realizing the vision, the Instructors and Staff Members Credo presents issues particularly relevant to this circle of the University’s constituents. In this regard, the main subject differs from the draft vision, which is meant to carry a message also for the students, and consequently is kept in a concise style.
The following section presents the Instructors and Staff Members Credo, common to instructors and staff members as equal partners, which is comprised of the seven points of 1. Mindset, 2. Education, 3. Research, 4. Community cooperation, 5. Ethics 6. University operations, and 7. Conclusion.
1. Based on the philosophy of Freedom and Enlightenment & Creation of the Future, instructors, staff members and students shall strive to create a shared climate of mutual trust and scholarship in which each participant serves to enlighten others.
At the foundation of the vision is the mindset of Freedom and Enlightenment in learning. As stated also in the vision, this refers to the progressive accession to the education principles of the predecessor schools* that emphasize student initiative and espouse freedom, enlightenment and broadmindedness.
We are not looking at Freedom and Enlightenment in learning as an issue that concerns only the individual student, but have adjusted our understanding to the effect that this topic concerns everyone at the University, including instructors and staff members. Nor is the topic limited to the individual level in areas such as personality, academic ability, and capabilities, but should be understood as an issue that comes to bear in relations among students, between students and instructors and staff members, and among instructors and staff members, in the sense of forming relationships of mutual learning.
Open-mindedness and activity in the realms of education, research, cooperation with the community, and university operations, etc., begin in all cases with relationships of mutual trust and mutual learning. In this respect, the Freedom and Enlightenment can be regarded as the mindset that should be positioned as the starting point of the Instructors and Staff Members Credo.
(*Under the old system, this refers to the former Shizuoka High School, Shizuoka Normal School, Shizuoka 2nd Normal School, Shizuoka Normal School for Youth, Hamamatsu College of Technology, (formerly, Hamamatsu Technical High School), and the Shizuoka Prefectural College of Agriculture).
2. While inheriting humanity’s accumulated knowledge and culture, instructors and staff shall cultivate their students as educated individuals, equipped with an international outlook, highly specialized knowledge and abundant humanity.
Our world today is built on a heritage accumulated by humankind over the course of a long history. Education is the business of adding new information to the knowledge and culture that form the core of this heritage, and conveying these to students, as well as developing students’ capabilities and mentoring the formation of their individuality. The 21st century will likely see relationships based on exchange and cooperation develop on a global scale in many diverse fields, and without a doubt an array of important functions will be fulfilled by people of learning who are equipped with an international world view, specialist knowledge, and well-developed human qualities. It is an important mission of Shizuoka University to provide the high-quality education for achieving this.
Aware of this mission, instructors and staff members will perform their respective duties as equal partners in close cooperation. This must be so because staff members, through their daily activities, play an essential role in the endeavor of education, even though the direct involvement in teaching and research guidance is the realm of instructors.
3. Instructors and staff members shall respect academic freedom, engage in a passionate pursuit of fundamental, innovative research that will enrich the future of humanity and the Earth, and strive to produce research results that will contribute to the advancement of their respective fields.
The freedom of learning constitutes a right guaranteed in Article 23 of the Constitution of Japan. It is because of this freedom that creative research for a prosperous future becomes possible. In order to protect Earth and pass on its wealth into the hands of coming generations, progress in both fundamental and applied research fields are important. Based on this understanding, instructors of Shizuoka University are called upon to persevere in their studies in order to increase their specialist capabilities and produce research results that contribute to the progress of their respective fields. The responsibility of the University is to produce meaningful results in the various fields of research and mentor successors for the next generation by providing research guidance. To this end, for creating a fully developed research environment including the required financial basis, it is necessary for instructors and staff members to create university-level cooperative frameworks and attain set objectives.
4. Instructors and staff members shall learn from the university’s natural and cultural environment, engage with the various problems facing society, and respond in a wide variety of ways to earn the trust and meet the expectations of the local community and society as a whole through active dissemination of culture and information.
It is an important mission of the University to return research results to the community and to contribute to the community’s sustainable development. This is by no-means a one-directional relationship. Accountability to the community is a true treasure trove in the sense that research will be stimulated by the formulation of new kinds of research topics and new types of workforce will be raised.
In cooperation with regional communities, there is no room for the University to exercise high-handed guidance. As a member of the regional community, we are called upon to learn with humility about the region’s environment and culture, engage with sincerity in issues faced by the community, and ask ourselves what functions we can fulfill for the community. Required is an attitude for us, together with the regional community, to raise a valuable workforce able to contribute to the development of society and to work with the community on problem solving.
5. Instructors and staff members shall maintain high ethical standards and strive to maximize their specialist capacities through diligent study.
Instructors and staff members must be aware of the University’s social mission and highly public nature, take pride in their status as instructors and staff members of Shizuoka University, and apply themselves to their work with diligence and based on high ethical standards. Instructors and staff members of Shizuoka University must comply with laws and regulations and, among others, the Teaching Staff Code of Conduct*.
The demanding mission stated in the Vision of Shizuoka University can be realized only if all instructors and staff members fulfill their roles to the utmost of their capabilities. Instructors and staff members are required to work constantly on self-improvement in order to acquire highly developed expert capabilities and skills that are backed by a broad-based education.
(*This includes the National University Corporation Shizuoka University Ethics Rules for Instructors and Staff Members and the Shizuoka University Code of Conduct for Researchers.)
6. Instructors and staff members shall respond flexibly to social changes and engage in the operations of the university with a commitment to innovation and cooperative action.
In today’s times of change, stable university operations count among the indispensable requirements for the further development of Shizuoka University as a university with a strong profile and roots in its regional locale.
Instructors and staff members, who embody the future of Shizuoka University, need to respond flexibly to changes in the arrangements for university operations and changes in society overall, while raising the workforce for the next generation. Moreover, toward a common goal, instructors and staff members must exercise their creative ingenuity, use their skills to the full, cooperate with everyone involved with Shizuoka University, and proactively engage in the University’s operations.
7. Instructors and staff members shall act with resolution to create a peaceful and joyful future.
As set out in the foregoing, we will engage in education, research, cooperation with the community, and the running of the University’s operations, predicated on Freedom and Enlightenment in learning as a mindset and committed to the highest ethical standards. All of this is meant to contribute to the Creation of the Future – a future of peace and well-being.
Society today is faced with big changes, and the circumstances and the environment of the University are changing in turn alongside them. In these times of dramatic transitions, if we were to confine ourselves to preset ideas and conventions, an unending string of difficulties would await our University.
With the mindset of Freedom and Enlightenment and a commitment to the Creation of the Future, we will enjoy tackling issues as they come up, never fearing failure and always inspired by hope and expectation. Taking crisis as a chance for growth, we will draw on our creative ingenuity in dealing with day-to-day issues.
As stated in our vision, at Shizuoka University we will nurture rich human qualities endowed with a high-minded sense of mission and inquiry, promote knowledge creation, accession, and practical application, and will make progress together with the regional community for the peace and well-being of humankind and the future of Earth. To the extent that we engage with sincerity in education, research, cooperation with the community, and university operations, a future of peace and well-being will become reality.