Tokyo gets OK to create university despite faculty friction

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A government panel effectively gave the go-ahead Tuesday for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s plan to create a new public university next April by integrating four existing institutions, though not all the schools’ teachers appear to be on the same page.

The panel, operating under the education ministry, urged the metropolitan government to work closely with the four — Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University of Health Sciences and Tokyo Metropolitan College — to create the new university, particularly the faculty lineup.

The metropolitan government will start distributing entrance application forms next month, after the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry officially approves the school’s launch.

The project has caused friction between the metropolitan government and professors at TMU since the plan was unveiled in August 2003. The professors have charged that the metropolitan government does not respect the autonomy of the faculty members.

The standoff between some teachers and the metropolitan government delayed the latter’s initial plan to get ministry approval by the end of July.

About 20 TMU professors eventually refused to agree to teach at the new university.

One of them, Motoi Hatsumi, said integrating the four universities should be postponed by one year because the metropolitan government had yet to discuss the matter fully with all faculty members.

Waseda conforms

Waseda University held its first ever September entrance ceremony Tuesday for about 390 graduate and undergraduate students as part of its efforts to follow the international standard, university officials said.