What's New from the Secretariat September

The 41st Executive Committee meeting was held on September 19. Associate Prof. IKENO Jun began by giving a report on the execution of the FY2006 budget, and following that, Associate Prof. KIMURA Daiji gave a report on the state of preparations for the“Inter-networking in area studies: results and foresights,” to be held on September 29. The aim of this workshop is to present the outcomes of various projects of the Network Section. Please attend if you are interested. The program (in Japanese) is available at: (http://areainfo.asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/japan/fsws/2006_kyoto21net/20060929.html).

Next, I gave a report on the “KyotoUniversity 21st Century COE Forum,” which was held in the Clock Tower Centennial Hall of Kyoto University. There are currently 23 21st Century COE programs at KyotoUniversity. Of these, 11 were launched in FY2002 and will end this fiscal year, including our own Program. The symposium featured presentations from each of these 11 programs describing in simple terms their educational and research outcomes, and there were lively Q&A sessions attended by researchers from both inside and outside the university as well as members of the general public. It was a good opportunity to understand the educational and research outcomes of each program, since each was allocated a full 50 minutes for the presentation.

Research Associate TAKADA Akira gave a report on the state of preparations for the Kyoto Symposium, on the theme of “Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries and Re-visioning Area Studies: Perspectives from Asia and Africa,” which will be held from November 9 to 13. The detailed program and abstracts of the presentations will soon appear on the website for the symposium (http://areainfo.asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp/kyotosympo/index.html). In conjunction with this, posters and flyers will be distributed to various places, and the news will be released on mailing lists. The website also includes a section allowing attendees to apply for child-care services during the symposium, and an announcement that editing work on the proceedings will soon be completed. Thus, it was confirmed that the preparations are proceeding almost in line with the plans of the working group.

Associate Prof. MIZUNO Kazuharu, head of the Public Relations Section, reported that there were delays in uploading field work reports onto the website, and there was some discussion about this.

As agenda items, there was discussion of the external review of the 21st Century COE Program, which is to be submitted to the Education and Research Development Office of Kyoto University. The request for the report stipulates that the evaluators should include world-renowned foreign researchers. Thus, the background materials need to be quickly prepared in both Japanese and English, and prospective members should be asked to do the evaluation. Program Leader ICHIKAWA Mitsuo proposed a plan for the composition of the evaluation committee and the division of responsibilities, which was carefully discussed by the Executive Committee. (Sugishima)

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