FY2010 General Report Part 4

IV. Other Important Items related to the Operation

  1. Facilities and Equipment
  2. HR related Matters
  3. Enhancement of the Administrative Structure
  4. Social Responsibilities

1. Facilities and Equipment

(1) Construction of Lab and other facilities

In accordance with the reorganization that took place in April 2010, Facilities & Construction Division was newly established to enhance integrated operation of construction, relocation, development of research environment and facility maintenance. Especially, to ensure smooth transition of new researchers at the time of their arrival, Facilities & Construction Division worked closely with HR Group to confirm and make necessary facility preparations in advance.

As for the status of facility construction implemented in FY2010; construction of Bridge #2 was completed in October, and construction of Laboratory 2 and Auditorium commenced in November. Electric and mechanical works were also commenced for Laboratory 2 and Auditorium.

As for Laboratory 3, with consideration to the issue of the budget overrun in the use of Subsidy for Facilities in constructing Laboratory 1 and Center Building that was found in the previous year, it has been decided to put off the construction of Laboratory 3 for this fiscal year, and to examine the future status of PI recruitment and research achievements. OIST will continue to utilize the research facilities in Uruma that OIST is renting from entities of the Prefecture, as well as the Seaside House to ensure space for the researches and to continue with the recruitment.

(2) Development of housing and living conditions

As for the village zone construction to develop housing for faculties and students in the campus, specifications of facilities, rent and services were studied based on the questionnaire survey that was conducted in the first-half year of FY2010, and discussions were held with the companies that applied for the housing construction project. As a result, a basic agreement is scheduled to be made in the first quarter of FY2011.


2. HR related Matters

The efficiency of employee recruitment procedure was further promoted through standardization of workflows and development of various templates, as well as making efforts to enhance the name value in recruitment through conducting effective advertising strategies, the term and cost required for the recruitment procedure were reduced.

To attract the best faculties, efforts were made in collecting information on the salary and benefit programs of other research institutions and school corporations through published materials, survey reports, and by direct visit, etc. In addition, by use of the new Employee Evaluation program that was introduced in the previous year, both target achievement level and competency of each employee were evaluated.

As for the employees’ trainings, staffs to undertake employees’ education and training were appointed in the Recruiting & Assistance Section. They provided various trainings, information of Okinawan culture, and explanation to non-Japanese employees of the measures to be taken in case of emergency, etc.

As for measures to promote work-life balance, a new work-time management system has been introduced, which started full operation in August 2010. The system has enabled effective and timely collection and analysis of work-time data of employees. The information is provided to the managers, and instructions are given as needed.

In addition, a Website of HR group was newly opened on the Intranet in March 2011 to provide sufficient information to the staffs.

The number of full-time employees (excluding fixed-term employees) at the end of the fiscal year was 29, while the number of full-time employees including fixed-term employees was 259.


3. Enhancement of the Administrative Structure

As for the position of the Chief Administrative Officer to oversee administrative matters, a dedicated person was appointed in July 2010 with the cooperation of the Cabinet Office in the selection.

In addition, appointments for other key positions have been made as below:

  • Executive Assistant, Director of Academic Affairs Division, and Senior Manager of Common Resource Group (April)
  • Senior Manager of General Affairs Group (June)
  • Director of Facilities and Construction Division (August)
  • Senior Manager of IT Section (October)

Furthermore, in order to enhance the administrative structure required for the operation of the university that is integrated with the local community and open to the world, an executive member of the Okinawa Prefectural Government was appointed as the Senior Assistant to Chief Administrative Officer in December 2010, and a Senior Advisor of PR/Communication was appointed in January 2011.

Employee recruitment is properly managed by projecting staffing needs of each Division/Section every month in accordance with the annual budget.


4. Social Responsibilities

(1) Thorough compliance with laws, regulations, and codes of ethical conduct

In order to ensure proper document management, training on document management was provided for administrative staffs in November 2010. In addition, the following trainings were provided to ensure compliance and prevent misconduct in research activities.

  • Seminar “Survival Skills for Scientists/Ethical guidelines for researchers” (May)
  • Training session for Recombinant DNA and Biosafety (June)
  • Training session for safety of experiment areas (July)
  • Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) Seminar (September)
  • Seminar on Control of Sensitive Technologies for Security Trade Control (September)
  • Research Safety (Biosafety including recombinant DNA and pathogens/toxins, Human subjects research, Radioisotope, Chemicals, Wastes, and Security trade control) trainings (October)

(2) Cooperation with local community

To foster deeper ties with the local community and to establish OIST as its integral component as stated in the Medium-term Objectives, OIST continued to promote active outreach activities. In addition to the lectures by PIs provided at local junior-high schools of Onna Village, etc. the first Open Campus at the Onna Campus was held in November 2010 having total 2,130 visitors. Furthermore, lectures in Okinawa by a member of BOG (Nobel Laureate) for the general public and high school students, “Science Talk” with the local high school students, and the first Children’s School of Science targeting the elementary school students in Onna Village with the cooperation of Onna village were held. Visitors from the local community including members of the local municipalities and industry were also actively accepted throughout the year.

(3) Environmental consideration

In compliance with the “Basic policy for the promotion of procurement of eco-friendly goods and services” which is based on the Act on Promoting Green Purchasing, efforts in promoting purchase of eco-friendly goods including recyclable products has been continued. In addition, based on the purpose of the government plan, the “Implementation Plan for Minimizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions at OIST” was established in March 2011. In addition, as part of the efforts to prevent global warming, energy saving measures to reduce power consumption have been implemented continuously since August 2010.

(4) Development of safe and friendly work environment

1) Ensuring workplace safety

The regulations concerning safety and health management were fully revised in September 2010, and the Safety Committee having the Chief Administrative Officer as the chair has been established.

Specifically, the following measures were taken to ensure a safe environment in the research facilities and on conducting research activities, as well as to raise the awareness of the staffs.

  • After the relocation to the new Campus, inspection by patrolling the facilities to inspect possible risks in toxic/hazardous substances, etc., was carried out as planned, and appropriate protection and improvement measures were provided as necessary.
  • Regulations such as the Animal Experiment Regulations were revised to ensure the safe conduct of animal experiments in the Campus as well as to ensure a system to accelerate the procedures.
  • The Safety Sign Guidelines to provide clear safety instructions of potential hazards in the facility, as well as the Chemical Management Guide and Manual for the Handling of Radioisotope have been established.
  • Seminars concerning research safety and potential hazards in research areas were held (total 18 sessions).
2) Developing a pleasant working environment

As part of the efforts to ensure a proper working environment, shuttle bus service for commuting started in May 2010, and café was opened in the Center Building of the new Campus in July.

In addition, a “Health Center” was set up in October. A full-time staff is assigned to the Center, and services such as monthly health consultation by an industrial physician including consultation on mental health are made available. In addition, an appointment was made for the full-time position with a nursing qualification to start from April 2011.

Furthermore, language training courses for staffs and trainings for managerial positions including lecture on the prevention of sexual harassment, etc. were provided.