SNIPPETS FROM THE RECTOR'S DIARY 2 March 2022 Driving back from a visit to our Sde Boker Campus, I wait impatiently for a phone call which will inform me of the results of the voting and whether I have been elected by the Senate for a second term as Rector of the University. I went to Sde Boker to see an exhibition on the effects of climate change on glaciers in Europe based on photographs taken from the same place almost a hundred years ago and recently. The exhibition fits in well with our goal to make BGU a leader in research and finding solutions for sustainability and climate change and the photos of then and now are shocking and provide much food for thought. I am delighted to learn that most of the Senate thinks that I have done a good job over the past almost four years and has re-elected me for a second (and last) term. 23 May 2022 Always expect the unexpected! Two student organizations holding demonstrations at the same time on campus – what could go wrong? University campuses, by their very nature, have tended to be the place where future politicians and leaders learn the tools of their trade, and in my opinion, this should be encouraged – if the regulations governing political and public activity on campus are followed. We want vibrant and engaged campuses and both staff and students

should be informed and involved with issues concerning broader society. So, two requests for two opposing demonstrations on the same day, same place and the same time. After much consideration and consultation, it is decided to allow both events to take place. The demonstrations are well attended and though there is much shouting and disagreement between the sides, the hour ends peacefully and all sides return to class together. Our strength lies in our ability to contain opposing views, and I will continue to defend the right to demonstrate on campus. 14 June 2022 Being Rector sometimes has its upsides. Today, we had the pleasure of giving an honorary doctorate to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Although a logistical nightmare, the whole event went off very well and her speech delivered in the Senate made headlines in Israel and abroad. She spoke very movingly about the Holocaust, antisemitism and Israel and delivered a strong statement about the illegitimate Russian invasion of Ukraine. I had the opportunity for a little private small talk and asked her whether the European Commission would decide in favor of the Ukrainian petition to join the EU. Surprisingly, she answered my question, and I got advance notice of the decision that would be made public at the end of that week.


President's Report 2023

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