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2024: New Year's greetings

Happy New Year! Firstly, the Noto Peninsula Earthquake that occurred on New Year's Day has affected many people, and rescue operations are still ongoing. A DMAT team from our University Hospital has been dispatched to the area to provide medical care. On behalf of Yamagata University, I express my deep condolences to those who lost their lives in the earthquake and wish that those affected will be able to return to their daily lives as soon as possible.

As for of 11 January, the safety of all students who are from the disaster areas of Ishikawa, Toyama, Fukui and Niigata has been confirmed, although some of their families' houses were damaged. I sincerely hope that they will all return to the university safely. The university will continue to provide whatever support it can to those students affected by the disaster.

I would like to thank all the staff and faculty members who have been working since the New Year holidays to confirm the safety of students and the safety of the campus. It has been an unusually tense start to the year, but I am very pleased that we are all here together today to begin our work in 2024.

This year marks the third year of the six-year mid-term goal period, and it is a crucial year for steadily achieving the mid-term plan towards realizing the mission of Yamagata University. In education, important tasks include working towards establishing new faculty and School of Collaborative Regional Innovation and Data Science and Department of Information Science and Technology for the 2025 academic year, as well as the study of a university-wide education design by 2030. In research, we aim to further invigorate interdisciplinary research exchanges that began last year and nurture new research that can be described as the "synthetic knowledge" of Yamagata University.

Enhancing the international reach of education and research is also a key issue that we need to focus on this year. Last year, following the war in Ukraine, a serious humanitarian crisis emerged in Palestine, and divisions and conflicts between nations and ethnic groups are increasingly impacting universities, which should be free arenas for scholarly pursuit. Especially in such times, it is our intention to further promote international student exchanges and international research collaborations, to make tangible the multicultural coexistence that is our university's mission.

If FY2024 Government budget allows, we will establish two new centers for the promotion of education and research, tentatively named the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Promotion Center and the Agricultural and Mountain Village Regeneration Co-Creation Research Center.

The IE Promotion Center (tentative name) will advance personnel training through a university staff certification program based on IR, which is a characteristic feature of our university, and will further promote data-driven management. The Agricultural and Mountain Village Regeneration Co-Creation Research Center (tentative name)  will advance research aimed at sustainable development of local communities by utilizing forested land that cover more than 70% of the Yamagata prefecture as a resource.

Together with the educational and research promotion organizations that have been set up since 2021, we expect that the strengths and characteristics of Yamagata University, leveraging the unique features of each campus, will be further enhanced.

As our society faces various difficulties such as disasters and wars, universities, as centers of knowledge, are contributing to solving a multitude of problems through research, education, and social co-creation. The driving force behind this effort is our dedicated faculty and staff, and our students who are eager to learn at all times. While there are many tasks to be accomplished, I look forward to working with all faculty, staff and students to solve each or these issues this year. I urge all faculty and staff to take great care of their health and wish everyone a healthy year ahead. I pray that this year will be a good one for everyone and extend my New Year's greetings.

                                                     President Tamate Hidetoshi,
                                                                                                                          January 16, 2024