Announcement of the 5th President

Jul 21, 2023

The current President of APU, DEGUCHI Haruaki, will complete his term on December 31, 2023. In order to find a successor, APU formed its presidential search committee that accepted candidates from the general public.

On July 21, the Board of Trustees of the Ritsumeikan Trust has decided that Mr. YONEYAMA Hiroshi will be the next President of APU, with a 3 year term to begin on January 1, 2024.

The new President: YONEYAMA Hiroshi

A Message from the new President
Following President Deguchi's invitation, I transferred from Ritsumeikan University to join APU in April 2020. Upon coming here, I was deeply moved by the students who studied together harmoniously and helped each other as equals despite the barriers of their countries, regions, and languages. They were dedicated to creating a virtual campus life even during the pandemic. The staff also put in tremendous effort. Despite the drastic changes in the university environment due to the inability to conduct face-to-face activities, they quickly established a new online learning environment, student support, and admission promotions. The faculty were equally impressive. They helped each other practice teaching Zoom classes by playing the role of students in other professors’ classes and successfully transitioned to a complete online teaching mode in Early May.

I have spent a fulfilling and rewarding three and a half years with such outstanding APU students, staff, and faculty. I was fortunate to be given a role in assisting the curriculum reforms in the two existing colleges and the establishment of the College of Sustainability and Tourism, which President Deguchi named “the New APU,” along with the realization of the Global Learning initiative that leverages APU’s domestic and international networks to enhance APU students’ learning.

I have many aspirations for APU. Looking back at what APU has achieved since its establishment, it has been more than just creating an “international” university; it has acquired expertise in building an inclusive organization and community. In particular, the experiences and knowledge accumulated in the Center for Language Education and the Education Development and Learning Support Center can significantly contribute when Japan's elementary and secondary education, local governments, companies, and organizations strive to become more open entities.

Furthermore, in the process of creating “the New APU,” the three colleges realigned their missions to match the APU visions. They strengthened discipline-based education, enabling students to acquire the skills necessary to thrive in society and contribute to the world. I will do my best to create a vibrant APU with our students, staff, and faculty. I will endeavor to build a university that everyone around us is glad APU is in Beppu.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive toward further success and growth.

New President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The new President: A profile
The new President, YONEYAMA Hiroshi, was born in Tokyo in 1959. After graduating from the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the University of Tokyo, he obtained a Master’s in history from the University of Tsukuba. He completed his doctoral program (ABD) in the History Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 1991. He worked as a research associate at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, University of Tokyo, an associate professor at Toyo Women’s College, and a professor at the Faculty of Letters, Ritsumeikan University, before assuming the position of vice president at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in 2020. His area of expertise is American history and the international migration of Japanese.

A Message from President DEGUCHI Haruaki
In 2023, APU will welcome “the New APU” with the establishment of the College of Sustainability and Tourism along with academic reforms in its existing faculties in order to realize the APU 2030 Vision: “APU Graduates possess the power to change our world.” I hope that APU will develop its reputation as “one of Japan's leading international universities” into “the most international university in the world” by 2030, while continuing to play a central role in helping those who study at APU change the world for the better.

I am confident that my successor, YONEYAMA Hiroshi, will be the most appropriate person to carry on this “the New APU” and further develop it as the next president. Mr. Yoneyama has supported me as Vice President in various ways over the years and has been my most trusted and understanding companion since before April 2020, not to mention during my illness.

He has a remarkable record in the fields of education and research, possessing extensive experience as an academician and outstanding leadership skills. Moreover, he specializes in history, a field that I deeply cherish. Just as the countless great leaders who have derived solutions to contemporary issues by contemplating past figures, I firmly believe that he will lead APU and its students to grow and progress through challenging times.

Although I have only six months left in my term, I am committed to making every effort to lay a solid foundation for the further development of APU, centered around the next President.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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