Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University - President of Tel Aviv University (forced
University president quits / Sources: Galil was forced out of office
By Ofri Ilani and
July 02, 2009
Aviv University president Zvi Galil submitted his resignation
yesterday after only two years in the post. Galil, whose academic
field of expertise is computer sciences, stated in his letter of
resignation that he had decided to resign in order to devote his
time to his academic work, which was not possible in concert with
his administrative responsibilities as president.
Senior university sources said Galil was forced to resign following
friction which came to a head this week with TAU's executive
council. The council issued a statement, however, expressing
surprise at Galil's decision and stating that there was no attempt
to make him step down. Galil declined to respond to reports of
efforts to dismiss him.
Sources have said that some of the executive council members had
recently expressed their lack of confidence in Galil's fundraising
capabilities. In a statement yesterday, Galil acknowledged that "the
funds which we are raising are small compared to the entire
added, however, "I made a major effort to solicit contributions for
the operating budget of the university."
TAU executive council convened on Monday in a session which one
high-level source called "difficult."
Galil is one of the world's leading experts in computer sciences and
has been a member of the computer science faculty of Columbia
University in New York since 1982. He served as dean of Columbia's
School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1995 to 2007, when he
returned to Israel to take up the TAU presidency. A source at
Tel Aviv University said the
transition from research on an international level to dealing on a
daily basis with administrative and budgetary matters was a burden
resigning, Galil called on the government to recognize the primary
importance of human capital, and expressed the hope that more would
be done to bring Israeli researchers working abroad back to academic
institutions in Israel. His departure comes about four months after
a shake-up in the leadership of the university's executive council,
which oversees the activities of the president. Dov Lautman was
replaced as chair of the council by businesswoman Leora Meridor.
Last month, following Meridor's appointment, the university's board
of governors changed the institution's constitution and reduced the
authority of academic staff in the university administration in
favor of "representatives of the public," primarily business people.
new constitution limits representation of the board of governors by
academics to 20 percent. The constitution now also provides for a
majority of pubic representatives on the executive council and on
the search committee for a new president.
new provisions reduce the number of votes needed to cut short the
term of the university president.
TAU presidential search committee is expected to convene soon.
Executive council chairwoman Meridor issued a statement noting
Galil's contribution to maintaining the academic standing of Tel
Aviv University at a time of a budgetary crisis which required the
university to substantially cut the scope of its activity.