FUTI’s Board and Advisory Committee Joint Meeting Held

A joint meeting of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee (AC) of FUTI was held on March 8th, 2012 at 5:00 pm-7:00 p.m. in the Nippon Club, New York City.
The meeting began with a report by Prof. Akihiko Tanaka, Vice President of UTokyo and Director of FUTI, on recent developments at UTokyo: 1) the proposal to change the beginning of the academic year from April to September, 2) new degree-granting programs instructed only in English; 3) UTokyo’s office recently opened in Bangalore, India, and (4) UTokyo’s plan to offer several joint-degree programs with major foreign universities.
Then Prof. Hisashi Kobayashi, FUTI president, reported on interim results of the 2011-2012 fundraising campaign. The total amount of donations went up considerably higher than last year, due mainly to gifts from a larger number of alumni in Japan and greater dividends distributed from Shintech’s Trust Fund. Kobayashi’s analysis shows, however, that donations from the alumni living in New York City and its vicinity remained disappointingly low.
Dr. Masaaki Yamada, Director of University Relations, reported on the summer scholarship programs. In addition to such programs arranged by UTokyo’s “study abroad program office” as GSP (Global Summer Programs, held at UTokyo, UC Berkeley and Yale) and Yale’s ELI (English Language Institute), FUTI will grant scholarships to outstanding students in the following two new categories of programs this summer: 1) The UTRIP (University of Tokyo Research Internship) program organized by UTokyo’s School of Science, which undergraduate students at U.S. universities can participate in, and 2) other good summer programs hosted by other U.S. institutions, which UTokyo students may find out about by themselves and attend individually.
Dr. Masako Osako, FUTI staff, discussed opportunities and challenges in working with the NY Ichokai and suggested that we host more alumni events and nurture “Aikoshin” (or love for our alma mater). Mr. Y. Okamoto, President of NY Icho-kai and FUTI Advisory Member, emphasized also the importance of cultivating “Aikoshin” and increasing FUTI’s visibility to the alumni in New York.
Mr. Motoatsu Sakurai, Chair of the Advisory Committee (AC) remarked that it is necessary to clearly define the role of the AC vis-á-vis that of the Board of Directors. Dr. Yamada suggested that FUTI’s current by-laws should be amended, by adding an article on the AC. President Kobayashi asked Messrs. M. Sakurai, Y. Watanabe (Secretary) and M. Yamada to prepare an amendment draft for discussion and approval by the Board.
Because of shortage of time, some items in the original agenda were not discussed and were deferred until the next Board meeting.

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