About AIU

President’s Message

President Suzuki

A Message from the President

April 1, 2016

Greetings to all our friends,

April of 2014 marks AIU’s 10th anniversary, and I would greatly like to thank the many involved in their support of AIU thus far. Hereafter, we will spread the international liberal arts education from Akita to the world, continue to be a forefront university in developing global human resources in Japan, and make great efforts to contribute to the regional community.

Our school, Akita International University, has received high marks for its international liberal arts education, and it is the major trend among colleges and universities around the world to move toward such an education. Our university offers students an “international liberal arts education,” as its founding idea is to educate them to become talented world citizens able to play active roles in our global society. The notion of “liberal arts” (kyoyo in Japanese) originated in the foundation of education in ancient Greece. Known as “artes liberales,” it refers to the arts of the education of the whole person (zenjin kyoiku) that are needed for us to become free beings.

Two thousand five hundred years have passed since then, and we may ask why the world is moving toward liberal arts higher education in general, and international liberal arts education in particular. The knowledge based global society of the 21st century seeks capable human beings with a fully developed human power of intellect, physical strength, ethics, and so forth. Thus, in order for society to bring forth human beings that embody diverse abilities and competencies needed to take an active part in our global society, we need education of the whole person in arts and sciences in that students must first liberate themselves from the values and conventions that have shaped them, and then develop a new self with international perspectives. This is “international liberal arts education,” and our university is at the forefront of developing such an education in Japan.

Moreover, in the age of globalization, the center of the world can be wherever you are. For each person can instantly connect with seven billion people around the world through information and communication technologies. We can exchange messages by hitting the keyboard of electronic devices with the touch of a finger. Wherever one is in the world, there emerges the fundamental picture of “an individual facing the world.” Our graduates are now indeed playing active roles globally, having taken off from Akita, as this fundamental picture has suggested.

But what is one’s own individuality? Who am I? What kind of life do I wish to live? Questions never end; however, it is through the process of asking these questions, finding answers, and making efforts to realize them that one can form his/her individuality as a person. Our students establish and develop their individualities to live and work in a global society through rigorous studies, discussions with teachers and fellow students, and study abroad experiences, just like those who have already graduated from our university have accomplished.

Akita International University welcomes those who wish to fly high and take on the world.

President, Akita International University
Norihiko Suzuki, DBA

President’s Profile

1945 Born in Kuroiso Machi, Nasu Gun (Currently Nasu Shiobara City), Tochigi Prefecture
1968 B.A., Economics, Hitotsubashi University
1972 M.A., Economics, Hitotsubashi University
1978 D.B.A., Indiana University
1978 - 1982 Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Washington State University
1982 - 1986 Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1986 - 1990 Associate Professor, International Christian University
1990 - 2012 Professor, International Christian University
1991 - 1992 Visiting Professor, University of Washington
2000 - 2004 Vice-President for Academic Affairs, International Christian University
2004 - 2012 President, International Christian University
2010 - 2012 President, The Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia
2012 - 2013 Senior Managing Director, Japan University Accreditation Association
2013 - present President (Chair of the Board), Akita International University
- present Member, Council for the Implementation of Education Rebuilding
Member,Central Council for Education, University Education Section
President, Japan Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Publications include, Takokuseki Kigyou Keieiron (Management of Multinational Enterprises, Dobunkan, 1988), Winner of the 1988 Management Science Literature Award, Kokusai Marketing (International Marketing, Dobunkan, 1989), Kigyousenryaku to Kokusaikankeiron (Corporate Strategy and International Relations, Yuhikaku, 1995), Takokuseki Kigyou to Kokusai Kankei no Tougou Riron (The Multinational Business and International Relations -Toward the Integrated Theory Building-, Kokusai Shoin, 1997), Kokusai Keiei Seijigaku (The Global Corporate Politics, Bunshindo, 2000), Global Kyoikuzai Ido Riron (Global Transfer Theory of Education Products, Bunshindo, 2014), Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Journal, International Management Review, Asia-Pacific Journal of Management, The Columbia Journal of World Business, and many more.

Greetings from the President's Office

"I am glad to announce that I will issue my opinions/thoughts through this letter occasionally with the hope of increasing communication between all of you and me." (An excerpt from the first issue)