In June President Mark Schulman travelled to Japan sign a memorandum of understanding with Osaka Prefecture University for educational and scientific cooperation. While there, he met with Osaka’s President Taketoshi Okuno and other faculty. Osaka University is one of the largest public universities in Japan, enrolling more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students in four colleges and seven undergraduate and graduate schools.
The opportunity to develop this MOU came about through the good auspices of former Saybrook Board trustee and alumna Hellen Hemphill Wilson who introduced Mark Schulman to one of her professional colleagues, Joseph Britton who has taught at Osaka for many years. As a result of their conversations, it became apparent that Saybrook and Osaka enjoyed mutual interests that they could share more beneficially through a formal agreement. The MOU encourages contact and cooperation between the faculties of the two institutions on joint research activities, information exchange in areas of mutual interest, exchange of faculty members for research, lectures, and discussions, and exchange of graduate and undergraduate students for study and research.
Dr. Nancy Southern, co-chair of the School of Organizational Transformation and Leadership, kicked off the first project pursuant to this initiative, serving as a visiting professor for Osaka University’s School of Economics. Her visit was hosted by Professors Yahuhiro Ueno and Toshiuki Matsui. Professor Matusi is the director of a new leadership program offered at the school to address leadership needs for the 21st Century. Nancy provided lectures and workshops to undergraduate, MBA, and PhD students in the Graduate School of Economics, the School of Economics, and the College of Sustainable Systems Science on the topics of transformative leadership, organizational learning, and sustainability. She also engaged with faculty colleagues to explore new research, theory and practice in these fields of study.
Saybrook University hopes this initial collaboration will lead to an ongoing faculty and student exchange to explore new theory and practices in leadership which support organizational transformation toward greater sustainability.