Saturday, August 31, 2013

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: In Sayaka Miki's words

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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: In Sayaka Miki's words

By Sayaka Miki
Special to The Daily Magi
January 15, 2052

Very often do I get the opportunity to go across the country and talk to different types of people about Mitakihara University. Usually I visit secondary schools stretching to as far as St. John's, Nfld., talking with young men and women about the success stories that graduates have experienced. Where there's a profession and a calling, there's a Mitakihara graduate, and that makes me really proud.

One of the questions that I often get during the Q and A sessions is the role of the VIce-Chancellor. As you know, I am the Vice-Chancellor of Mitakihara University, which is a very important role. A "vice-chancellor" (commonly called a "VC") of a university in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, India, Sri Lanka other Commonwealth countries, and some universities in Hong Kong, is the chief executive of the University. In Scotland, Canada and Ireland the chief executive of a university is usually called principal or president with vice-chancellor being an honorific associated with this title, allowing the individual to bestow degrees in absence of the chancellor. Strictly speaking, the VC is only the deputy to the chancellor of the university, but the chancellor is usually a prominent public figure who acts as a ceremonial figurehead only (e.g., the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge for 36 years was Prince Philip), while the vice-chancellor acts as the day-to-day chief executive. 

An assistant to a vice-chancellor is called a pro-vice-chancellor or deputy vice-chancellor – these are sometimes teaching academics who take on additional responsibilities. In some universities (e.g. in Australian universities: Deakin University, Macquarie University), there are several deputy vice-chancellors subordinate to the vice-chancellor, with pro-vice-chancellor being a position at executive level ranking below deputy vice-chancellor.

There are a few exceptions within England. For example the Charter of the University of Manchester provides for the vice chancellor to also use the title president, and the first vice chancellor Alan Gilbert (2004–10) used president as his main title. The Rector of Imperial College is its chief executive.

Here at Mitakihara, the University President has essentially the roles of a Deputy Vice Chancellor at at other university in the Commonwealth. For me, the fact that Homura has been willing to take up her share of the administrative work at Kaname Hall is impressive and makes my job a bit easier. She may be the one reason why I have no intentions of quitting my position.

Mostly, though, I owe everything to Madoka. She is the one that has the final say in every matter, even though her role is technically ceremonial. Usually there isn't a measure she rejects because it also has to be approved by the Board of Visitors, but anyway, she has been the rock, the foundation for which this university is based. You have to keep in mind that this university was formed in her image, and everything we do in this wonderful institution reflects off of her.

Without Madoka Kaname as our chancellor and our guiding force, I don't think Mitakihara University would be the world-class instititution that it has been for over four decades. I say it, I believe it, and it's true.

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