1. Incorporating entity shall be changed from GLOBIS Corporation to Educational Corporation of Globis University
2. Date of change: April 1, 2008
These simple words authorized in the name of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) appeared on the approval certification I received at the MEXT on December 3 to establish an educational corporation. This approval will change the status of our Graduate School of Management from a school established by a business corporation to one established by an educational corporation. This means our institution will be reborn April 1 as a private university.
I was originally scheduled for another appointment on the day the approval was to be granted and I had planned to have someone else fill in for me to receive it, but on second thought I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I decided to re-arrange my schedule and go to MEXT to receive the approval certification myself.
I headed for the building in Marunouchi, where MEXT has relocated while their office in Kasumigaseki is being renovated, and found the second floor waiting room spilling over with people from universities and graduate schools. I had been there the year before last to receive approval to establish a corporate-run graduate business school under the Special Zones for Structural Reform designation. This was my second approval ceremony since then.
As I sat in the corner of the waiting room, a flood of memories rushed through my mind.
I recalled the days when I started the school on my own in one room in an apartment and a rented classroom in Shibuya 15 years ago. And then in 1996, when GLOBIS launched a joint MBA program with the University of Leicester in England (this joint program will end with the January 2008 semester). And in April 2003, when we began offering an original program, developed at GLOBIS, called the GDBA (Graduate Diploma in Business Administration), as a society-recognized business school. And finally, in April, 2006, when we became a corporate-run graduate business school under the Plans for Special Zones for Structural Reform. These were a few of the memories that came back to me.
Over the years, we had repeatedly discussed the direction for GLOBIS with employees, students and faculty members. Some students, in particular, voiced their objections to becoming a graduate school under the approval of MEXT. They feared it might diminish the advantages of a GLOBIS education.
I have always valued my discussions with students throughout leading these reforms. Last week, on the day MEXT announced its approval to give GLOBIS the authority to establish an educational corporation, I sent out a message to all GDBA (the forerunner to our MBA course) and MBA students, both past and present, explaining the reasons for taking this step, which is summarized below.
Incidentally, at GLOBIS we use the term GMBA students as an overall term that includes both GDBA students and MBA students who attended our courses before and after the establishment of the Graduate School.
To all GMBA students,
GLOBIS is setting course to become an educational corporation.
This is certainly a major shift. I had always known, however, that when GLOBIS applied to MEXT to establish a graduate school under the Plans for Special Zones for Structural Reform in 2005, we had already, in a sense, "crossed the Rubicon," since GLOBIS had chosen the path toward becoming a MEXT-approved graduate school while upholding the spirit of being a society-recognized business school.
When you understand what is customary across the globe, you see that none of the top-ranking universities or graduate schools is operated by a business corporation. If we are to indeed become Asia's No. 1 business school, it is vital that we build up our internal reserves and create a fund supported by donations.
In addition, GLOBIS lags far behind other universities in terms of "hardware." This is inevitable to some extent, considering that our school began with 800,000 yen in seed money with a focus on the "software" of providing quality education, without any government subsidies or private donations at all. From now on, however, I hope to further develop the educational environment, such as improving the campus infrastructure. I believe this transformation into an educational corporation is a necessary step.
On the other hand, the disadvantages of becoming an educational corporation include the inability to offer dividends and the loss of ownership. That is, we concluded that we would lose the advantages of a stock corporation.
GLOBIS was not founded to make a profit; we never considered publicly listing shares. Should we go public, shareholders would naturally receive a considerable capital gain, however, we would lose something more significant. If we were to become a public company, we would have to maximize shareholder value and earnings per share, as you have learned in your finance courses.
Therefore, we had to decide whether to proceed in that direction or whether to maximize educational value, turn out leaders of change and creativity and become Asia's No.1 business school.
Strategy means making choices. We must turn away from one direction to concentrate on the other. Once we had established our priorities, we did not hesitate to choose the latter course. In short, we decided to produce leaders of change and creativity, aiming at becoming Asia's No.1 business school.
Instead of enjoying capital gains today, we are placing priority on what we will leave behind for tomorrow. We hope to establish a foundation for the future of the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, that will endure for the next two to three hundred years, to leave behind outstanding education opportunities for future generations.
Our graduate school will become an educational corporation, and from now on we will consistently strive to maintain a virtuous cycle of accumulating capital, creating an ideal educational environment and attracting excellent students. The DNA of leaders of change and creativity that originated with GDBA is being passed on to MBA students, and will continue to evolve along with the Educational Corporation of Globis University.
We expect our students to study all they can at GLOBIS and to take flight as leaders of change and creativity to develop new value for society.
Let us press on together toward our goal of becoming Asia's No.1 business school :->
I look forward to your continued support.
While I was waiting, a MEXT official called out: "Graduate School of Management, Globis University." I proceeded to the Director General's room on the eighth floor, where the Director General firmly handed me the approval with both hands.
There was no particular outburst of joy, such as, "Yes! I did it!" Instead, I felt a certain tension, like the tremor of excitement experienced by a samurai; that this marks a genuinely new beginning. It was indeed a sobering sense of renewal.
At long last, the Graduate School of Management, Globis University will set off on a new start as an educational corporation from April 2008.
In the space of 15 years, a school that began in one room in an apartment and a single rented classroom will have made a huge leap to becoming a private university that confers an MBA degree.
On the other hand, we have just started on our way toward becoming Asia's No.1 business school. That's the reason behind the sobered feeling.
Julius Caesar reportedly uttered the following words before crossing the Rubicon:
"Hell awaits if I go, ruin awaits if I don't. Let us then go, where the Gods await. The die is cast."
I would like to modify these words somewhat: "The challenges of creativity and change await if I go, ruin awaits if I don't. Let us then go, where society expects us to go. The die is cast."
On April 1, 2008, we expect to give birth to the Educational Corporation of Globis University.
December 7, 2007
Written at the GLOBIS office