On the afternoon of March 9, the Tongji University Work Deployment Meeting 2021 was held. Tongji’s Party Secretary FANG Shouen made a speech, and President CHEN Jie described the deployment of the University’s key work activities for 2021. The meeting was presided over by Tongji’s Executive Deputy Party Secretary FENG Shenhong. More than 2,600 people attended the meeting in the auditorium of Siping Campus, including members of the University leadership team, members of the University Affairs Committee, members of the Academic Committee, members of Tongji’s Party Committee, members of the Commission for Discipline Inspection, heads of non-Communist parties, heads of functional departments, schools and colleges, directly affiliated units and auxiliary units, high-level talents, academic leaders, secretaries of staff Party branches, teachers and student representatives. The meeting also set up a sub-venue at Jiading Campus, and teachers and students also attended the meeting online through streaming platforms.
CHEN Jie reviewed Tongji’s work in 2020 and analyzed the current situation and challenges facing the University’s development. He introduced ideas for work to be undertaken in 2021, and described the deployment of key work activities for this year under the motto: “remain true to the original aspiration, follow the law, work together, pursue excellence, and strive to achieve a high-quality start to the 14th Five-Year Plan”. He observed that in 2020, under the guidance of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the University followed directives, seized opportunities, pursued excellence, and further modernized the governance system and capability befitting that of first-class universities. It achieved gratifying results, of which four achievements can be highlighted: firstly, under the guidance of the Party development, Tongji endured and overcame a tough test during the COVID-19 period; secondly, through concerted efforts, the University systematically drew up a development blueprint for the future; thirdly, Tongji successfully completed the first round of tasks of the “Double First-Class” initiative, as part of the phased goal of creating comprehensive, first-class universities; and fourthly, Tongji University effectively served the national strategy, and adhered to the construction of the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center. On behalf of the University, CHEN Jie expressed his gratitude to all Tongji people for their selfless dedication and hard work. He said that in 2021, under the guidance of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the University will aim at developing world-class universities. It will achieve this by using the guidance of the Party as a context within which moral values, discipline, team spirit, innovation and a comprehensive approach to reform will be key elements. This approach will remain true to Tongji’s original principles of cultivating people, and will allow the university to advance its unique culture as part of the start of the 14th Five-Year plan.
President CHEN emphasized that the first priority of universities is to carry out research and cultivate people. Through the building up, nurturing and expansion of a first-class university culture, it is necessary to build an academic community that unites people’s hearts, pursues excellence and inspires both teachers and students. This is the key to promote the development of first-class universities. He described the deployment of the key tasks and main work activities for the new year. The key tasks cover four aspects: firstly, underlining the role of Party leadership; secondly, building a high-quality talent training system; thirdly, strengthening interdisciplinary integration; and fourthly, modernizing Tongji’s governance system and working capacity. The main work includes seven items: first, adhering to the guidance of first-class Party building and inheriting the century-old Party history and culture; second, strengthening the training between undergraduate and graduate students and cultivating an outstanding education culture; third, strengthening interdisciplinary integration and shaping a first-class discipline culture; fourth, building a new scientific research system and cultivating innovation; fifth, deepening the reform and cultivating and strengthening universities’ talents; sixth, optimizing a framework for international cooperation and integrating the world’s culture; and seventh, establishing and supporting an excellent service culture. He concluded with a description of the top ten practical actions that needed to be carried out in 2021.
CHEN Jie delivering a speech
In his speech, FANG Shouen conveyed the spirit of the University’s theory-discussion meeting held during the winter vacation. He remarked that this meeting focused on two themes: the cultivation of talent and interdisciplinary integration. Not only is it the intention to implement the task of “speeding up the construction of first-class universities and first-class disciplines and realize the connotative development of higher education” put forward by the General Secretary XI Jinping and the Party Central Committee for universities and colleges, but also to further clarify the decisive and critical links that affect and promote the future high-quality development of Tongji University. According to FANG, the meeting achieved the purpose of discussing key tasks, exchanging ideas, broadening the mind with an innovative and pioneering spirit and building consensus.
FANG Shouen making a speech
FANG Shouen called for all departments and divisions to study and convey the spirit of this theory-discussing meeting seriously, further refine and quantify the work activities of the University in 2021, and implement these earnestly to promote Tongji and successfully kick off the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan with concerted actions. In combination with Tongji’s practical work, he put forward the following four specific requirements. First, do a good job in studying. We need to improve the effectiveness and quality of theoretical learning, combine theoretical learning with work, and put knowledge into practice. Second, do a good job in planning. We need to strengthen our awareness of thinking in terms of the general context and collaborate across the University to focus on key tasks and breakthroughs. Third, do a good job in implementation. We need to focus on the working methods, persist in considering the worst-case scenario, strengthen awareness of potential dangers, and promote all work activities in detail. Fourth, do a good job in Party building. We need to further our leading role in the first batch of national Model Universities of Party Building Work, accelerate the formation of the comprehensive reform paradigm of the “Three All-around Education” concept with Tongji characteristics in the new era, and promote the University’s in-depth development under the policy of implementing full and strict governance of the Party, notably by deepening inspection and rectification. FANG Shouen hoped that the whole University would unite as one, rekindle its spirit, work together, pursue excellence, carry forward the work ethic of the ox in serving the people, drive innovative development and work tirelessly, to bring world-class universities with China characteristics to a new level, and welcome the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party with excellent results.
FENG Shenhong pointed out, when chairing the meeting, that: a) all divisions need to study and understand the spirit of the meeting seriously and put forward specific measures based on their 14th Five-Year Plan; b) all divisions need to clarify and detail the key tasks of 2021, enhance awareness of thinking in terms of the overall context, respond to problems arising from the University’s overall situation, and improve their annual workload according to the University’s key work activities. Besides, they need to highlight their key tasks, make a breakdown of tasks at all levels, refine measures, clearly identify progress requirements according to the overall blueprint; and c) all divisions need to improve the implementation of plans and arrangements, study the spirit of “the starting is a sprint, and the start is a decisive battle,” and pinpoint responsible persons and progress requirements.
FENG Shenhong giving a speech
Written by AI Jiao
Photographed by JIANG Ping & ZHOU You
Videoed by WU Yixiang