land had been set aside for the University’s growth early on,” he notes, “but we had to lay claim to it. Had we not done that in time, the North Campus would by now be an extension of the Ramot neighborhood and we would have had nowhere to go. And we got it at a bargain price.” Leaving what he sees as his life’s work is bitter sweet for Bareket: “We are among the handful of institutions in Israel which do important work and enjoy widespread consensus about their significance. We are a world-class power in research, and that is nothing to sneeze at. BGU is situated in the Negev rather than the center of the country, yet we are measured by the exact same criteria as universities in the center. We don’t receive preferential treatment. What we have accomplished is despite these disadvantages,” he emphasizes. Indeed, BGU’s greatest strength, according to Bareket, is its location in the Negev. As a large comprehensive university, and the only university in the Negev, it has an important role in developing the Negev and Israel’s south as a whole, with all that implies. And thanks to both luck and foresight, BGU now has the means to make good on its promise: one of the largest hospitals in the country is right next door, and the ATP, the train station, the IDF bases, and the future innovation district are all nearby. “These advantages attract faculty who are also excited by the challenges of our mission. And no less importantly – devoted supporters who share our vision and believe in our ability to bring it to life,” he explains. Bareket is leaving the University well prepared to further expand its vision and scope. “I hope the stability of the last three decades continues,” he says. “I wish for the North Campus to be filled with new buildings and academic endeavors, and we continue to

David Bareket visits a campus building site with donors Carole and Marcus Weinstein

drive the development of the Negev. Our responsible fiscal policy and financial stability facilitate trust and make possible ambitious projects like building the North Campus. We have the resources thanks to the generosity of our donors, and we owe it to them too to be responsible with their money.” WE ARE AMONG THE HANDFUL OF INSTITUTIONS IN ISRAEL WHICH DO IMPORTANT WORK AND ENJOY WIDESPREAD CONSENSUS ABOUT THEIR SIGNIFICANCE In keeping with a man who has devoted his life to the service of others, plans for the future after retirement are somewhat vague. Bareket says he looks forward to just taking a break and enjoying life with his seven grandchildren. He would like to certify as a yacht skipper and return to flying, do some travelling, embracing whatever comes along. Of course, he won’t be abandoning us entirely, remaining on the Board of Governors. His final promise epitomizes his career serving the University and its community: “Whatever the University needs, I will be happy to be of service.”

David Bareket served under three BGU presidents (L-R): Prof. Avishay Braverman, Prof. Rivka Carmi, and Prof. Daniel Chamovitz


President's Report 2022

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