Dr. Jonathan Dorfan's article carried in Okinawa Times

The June 30, 2011 edition of the Okinawa Times carried an article by Dr. Jonathan Dorfan, President-elect of the OIST Graduate University, about important events that took place at OIST June 16-18.


Dr. Jonathan Dorfan

State-of-the-art Research in Okinawa
-- Steady Progress toward the Opening of the Graduate University --

The vision of carrying out world-class research and education, and contributing to the self-sustaining economy of Okinawa, is now becoming a reality as the establishment of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) is happening in November. From June 16 through 18, three important events in the history of OIST took place and I would like to report these events to the people of Okinawa.

On June 16, we held a meeting of the OIST Establishing Members. It was the last meeting prior to the establishment of OIST. The keys to success in recruiting outstanding students from around the world are attractive education program and the quality of faculty members. Since my appointment as the OIST President-elect last July, I have launched and succeeded in a worldwide search for scientists with a record of outstanding academic accomplishment and leadership. Currently, 19 new Principal Investigators have agreed to join the existing PIs in becoming faculty when the university opens. This creates a highly diverse, interdisciplinary knowledge center here in Okinawa.

On June 17, we had our first scientific exchange with the University of the Ryukyus. In order for OIST to succeed, a strong relationship with the university, that is also located on this island and has a long history and tradition, is indispensable. President Teruo Iwamasa and other faculty of the university came to visit OIST for the exchange, during which three speakers from both OIST and UOR gave presentations on their research. Governor Nakaima also kindly participated in the event, and encouraged the two universities to live up to the expectations of the Okinawan people, that we strengthen our collaboration for the development of Okinawa.

On June 18, the first in a program of cultural activities started at OIST. In order for OIST to be an international center for science and technology, it must be imbued with the broader elements of human culture. The new university will become a center for many branches of cultural expression, be it art, music, dance or theatre. OIST has opened an exhibition by Okinawa’s leading ceramist Mr. Shinman Yamada called HAMON: Science meets Art. The exhibit will run until the end of November and we look forward to your visits.

We have set the momentum for the opening of the OIST Graduate University that will carry out cutting-edge science to lead the world’s science and technology, and which is also open to the local community. I and the members of OIST will do our best to make OIST into a university that the people of Okinawa can all feel proud of.

Dr. Jonathan Dorfan's op-ed in Japanese (PDF)


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