Yasuhiro Kon
Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine




I am very pleased to have been appointed as Dean of the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine. From academic year 2017, the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine (along with the Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Dental Medicine and Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration) is incorporated into the faculty and graduate school framework established by Hokkaido University in 2005. As the first dean of the new Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, I am committed to its mission. Intended to separate graduate school organizations into educational organizations (graduate schools) and research organizations (faculties), this framework has two advantages. First, we can redistribute educational resources without being bound by the research areas of individual faculty members. Second, as we educate new generations of leaders who will be valued by society, we can restructure educational organizations when necessary while maintaining faculty organizations. Simply put, this organizational framework offers both flexibility and mobility.

It took more than a decade for the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine to decide whether the school would fit in this framework. However, public expectations for multidisciplinary education have been on the rise in recent years, and it has been considered as a top priority for society to educate advanced and flexible knowledge professionals armed with multidisciplinary knowledge based on their expertise. The same is true of veterinary medicine. Hokkaido University has opened the Graduate School of Infectious Diseases because it is imperative that researchers in different fields come together from around the world to educate new generations of professionals capable of combating infectious diseases, most notably emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The University has also established the new Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine to meet the social needs of educating professionals in veterinary science, advanced veterinary healthcare and global environmental conservation.

The advancement and specialization of veterinary medicine, veterinary healthcare and veterinary science are under way worldwide based on the One Health concept that we cannot maintain a sound ecosystem for the earth unless we can ensure the health of both humans and animals. Against this background, the new Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine offers rigorous curricula built on those of the ongoing Program for Leading Graduate Schools, which focus on the cultivation of global perspectives and expertise in veterinary science. The mission of the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine is to educate new generations of leaders who have broad, philosophical perspectives, a flexible imagination and comprehensive decision-making abilities as well as the practical competence and leadership skills needed to contribute to the development of veterinary science in Japan and around the world. The Graduate School aims to fulfill this mission with a focus on veterinary science and veterinary healthcare based on the three pillars of animal life science, clinical veterinary medicine and environmental veterinary science.

To achieve these goals, the Graduate School opens its doors to undergraduate students from within and outside the University who are eager to earn a degree in veterinary medicine and to graduates who are seeking to earn a Ph.D. while playing an active role in society. As a graduate institution open to the world, the school also accepts international students. It offers courses provided in the Program for Leading Graduate Schools: Subjects on Fundamental Veterinary Science, Academic English, Subjects on Advanced Veterinary Science, Advanced and Comprehensive Studies on Chemical Hazard Control, Research on Veterinary Science, Advanced Seminar on Veterinary Science, and internships at home and abroad. New courses include the Research Ethics Seminar and Clinical Medicine Emphasizing Program, which is aimed at educating future experts in clinical veterinary science.

I am confident that the curricula will produce Ph.D. holders in veterinary medicine who are equipped with broad perspectives, an academic foundation and highly specialized expertise in veterinary and related sciences. They will also have the ability to see issues from broad, multidisciplinary perspectives, the insight and flexible imagination necessary to solve challenging issues, and the leadership skills needed to help achieve the One Health concept in the international arena. As I am determined to make every possible effort to fulfill our mission, I would very much appreciate the continued support and encouragement of everyone involved.