Oct 02 2012

Amos Shapira takes office as University’s new President

Published by Editor at 7:50 pm under Home Page, Press Releases, University News

“I am proud to be returning to the University of Haifa. As a leading research university, the University of Haifa has always considered excellent academic research and teaching as its primary goal. Beyond excellence in research and teaching, the University of Haifa is making a distinctive strategic contribution to Israel and to society by way of creating a shared experience for the country’s different populations and by strengthening and conserving the northern region of Israel as a strategic asset for the entire country.”

Amos Shapira noted that the University of Haifa is outstanding and unique in many areas, such as marine research, education, psychology, learning disabilities, Holocaust research, brain and evolutionary research, and many other fields. But besides academic excellence, he points out, the University of Haifa has two additional strategic roles that are critical to the ongoing existence and prosperity of the State of Israel.

First, as the only research university in the northern region of the country, its existence is critical for the continued existence of the northern region and to prevent Israel’s becoming an overall extension of the central region, considering the various strategic risks in such.

Its second unique role is the direct outcome of the University’s distinctive composition of students and faculty: to create and provide a shared experience for the different populations, which is essential for Israel’s existence and resources.

Shapira related to the unique atmosphere at the University: “Academic research and teaching are at the core of every research university, but alongside these, the University of Haifa has always pulsated with a fresh and distinctive atmosphere, characterized by a human mosaic that includes all population groups: Jews and Arabs, old-timers and new immigrants, secular and religious of all religions and ethnic origins. Besides academic and research excellence, the University of Haifa has always contributed and will continue to contribute to the coexistence of Israel’s different populations. Such a contribution is a strategic necessity for Israel.”
He added that the University’s main asset is its academic and administrative faculty, which strives to foster excellence in research, teaching, and service at the University.

Upon taking office, Shapira is coming full circle: He completed a B.A. in Economics at the University of Haifa in the early 1980s, and his first job was as teaching assistant in the Department of Economics. “I am proud to be returning to the University where I took my first steps and which granted me the infrastructure for success - professionally and humanely,” Shapira said.

Shapira thanked outgoing President of the University of Haifa Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, who held the position for the past eight years, and who went to great lengths to advance the University in unique areas, especially Mediterranean Sea Research - an area of great national importance for the economy and independence of Israel. Shapira also extended his thanks to the Board of Governors and its Chairman Leon H. Charney, and to the Executive Committee headed by Ami Ayalon, for the trust that they have placed in him.

Until recently, Shapira served as CEO of the leading cellular company Cellcom, and prior to that he was CEO of the national El Al Airlines. Shapira also served from 2008 until just a few months ago as President of the Friends Association of Tel-Aviv University, in which capacity he spearheaded the “Employers’ Pact for Humanities and Natural Sciences” - a pact signed by 300 of Israel’s leading firms, promoting the employment of humanities and exact sciences graduates in the business sector. Shapira has also been active in increasing awareness amongst individuals who hold influence on public opinion regarding Israel’s academic “brain drain”, and was an executive board member of “Kav Mashve” - an organization advancing equal employment opportunities for minority populations in Israel.

One Response to “Amos Shapira takes office as University’s new President”

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