As Japan continues to wrestle with the effects of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart acknowledged the university’s steadfast commitment to Japan and to Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), Temple’s pioneering campus in Tokyo.
“On behalf of all of us at Temple, I send sympathies to all who have been affected by the recent earthquake and its aftermath,” Hart said. “Temple is committed to the students and staff of TUJ, and to the continuing involvement of Temple University in higher education in Japan.”
Although conditions in Tokyo — about 230 miles from the quake’s epicenter and 140 miles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant — continue to evolve on a daily basis, classes at TUJ are currently expected to resume on Monday, April 4. TUJ’s facilities, which were inspected and declared safe after the earthquake, remained open in the weeks that followed March 11. Temple’s study abroad programs at TUJ are not operating in Japan because a U.S. State Department travel warning for Japan is in effect (study abroad students are completing their studies in the U.S.).
In the days that followed the earthquake, a small fraction of TUJ’s diverse international student body left Japan, making their own travel arrangements to return home. After the State Department strongly urged U.S. citizens in Japan to consider leaving the country, Temple assisted with travel from Japan for any remaining students who wished to comply with the U.S. government’s recommendations. Although a significant proportion of U.S. students have left Japan since March 11, many of TUJ’s U.S. non-study-abroad undergraduates have elected to stay.
The university has offered free housing at Main Campus to TUJ and study abroad students returning from Japan who have eligible status in the U.S. or who can obtain a visa. Temple is working with all students, regardless of their final destination, to complete their Spring 2011 studies.
TUJ Dean Bruce Stronach praised the resolve of TUJ staff for their handling of a “complex and stressful” situation.
“In all my life,” Stronach, “I have never seen anything like the dedication that the staff here at TUJ have put into responding to the immediate crisis, working to make sure that we were in contact with every student to ensure that they were in a safe situation, working to help repatriate or move outside the Tokyo region those who wanted to go and beginning to make the transition back to restarting the semester.”
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard M. Englert acknowledged the dedication of the TUJ staff and the spirit of cooperation among Temple employees on both sides of the Pacific.
“There has been tremendous collaboration between TUJ and Main Campus staff since March 11,” said Englert, one of many Temple administrators in Japan and the U.S. who participated in frequent middle-of-the-night teleconferences. “I am so grateful for all the hard work on behalf of our students, faculty and staff.”
President Hart announced that a university-wide fundraising effort to support those impacted by the earthquake and tsunami has been launched. Over the next week, Temple will announce specifics about initiatives and how to get involved on a web page to be hosted by the Office of International Affairs.
Additional information, including FAQs, is available at TUJ’s web site, www.tuj.ac.jp. Study abroad students should refer to the Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses web site; updates for law students are being posted at Temple’s Beasley School of Law web site. Questions may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.