What's New from the Secretariat April

The first Executive Committee meeting of FY2005 was held on April 21, just at the end of this year’s cherry blossom season, which began late and lasted long compared to normal years. It was also the first meeting under the new committee structure following the departure of Prof. Kato, the former Program Leader.

The meeting began with a report that the execution of the FY2004 budget had been completed. Also, there was a report that the revised plan submitted in March in response to the mid-term evaluation held last year was approved, as we received a response of “no comments in particular” from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). In addition, in regard to the publication plan for the Graduate Student Workshop held last fall, Dr. Yanagisawa, who acted as facilitator for the workshop, proposed that the main contents should consist of discourses focusing on the process from the implementation of fieldwork to the drawing up of results, and this was approved.

Next, Prof. Hiramatsu, the chair of the organizing committee for the Kyoto University International Symposium, to be held in November in Bangkok, gave a report on the state of preparations for the symposium. Kyoto University will be the host of the symposium, but seeing it as a good chance to draw attention overseas to the activities of our 21st Century COE program, we have decided to provide support for it. The poster session planned in parallel with the symposium and the study tours to be held afterward will be meant for the graduate students. The Executive Committee meeting reconfirmed these points, and selected people to take charge of the symposium, poster session, and study tours. Because of personnel changes in the University Administration Bureau, preparations for the symposium may experience delays, but it was confirmed that it would be necessary to make decisions on presenters at the symposium and poster session by the end of May at the latest.

The Public Relations Section reported that the analytical data for accesses to the program website had been uploaded, and it was pointed out that there was a need to update the information on the Area Info Division. There was also a request from the Network Section for the distribution of promotional brochures for the eNewsletter to other institutes and academic societies. The Program has put a lot of efforts into the website and eNewsletter, since they are the pillars of our public relations activities, and we have been blessed with a favorable response. We intend to keep working to improve them.

In terms of items for discussion, first, the planned FY2005 budget was approved. The University Administration Bureau has not yet made a decision on the use of the budget for overhead costs appropriated from this fiscal year, but for the part allotted to ASAFAS, it was decided that the 21st Century COE Program would apply to the Finance Committee of ASAFAS for funding for the salaries of the administrative assistants.

The second agenda item was the symposium planned for the final year of the program. A decision was made that it would be held from November 10–13, 2006, and that a working group would be formed composed of the Program Leader, General Secretary, heads of each division, FS section leaders, head of the Research Promotion Section, and tworesearchers from the Secretariat. It was also confirmed that the tentative title, outline for the concept and style of the Symposium would be formulated by about July this year. As it is time to apply for external funds for the workshops to be held next fiscal year, it is also necessary to make preparations for them.

With regard to seminars to be held in Japan, there was a request for financial support for a seminar to be mainly organized by the Zambia FS. This was approved in principle, although the amount of budget will have to be decided in consideration of requests for other projects.

Finally, there was discussion on the proposal from CSEAS for a change of members of the Library Section and Network Section, and this was approved. Prof. Hayashi, from the Library Section, has served in that section for a total of seven years, including some spent during the former COE Program. We’d like to thank him for all his work during such a long period, and will appreciate his further advice. (Ichikawa)


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