Professor Peretz Lavie
Professor at Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine André Ballard Chair in Biological Psychiatry
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On October 1st 2009 I assumed the position of the President of the Technion. I did so with feelings of pride and sense of a mission. The task is formidable. The Technion is one of the most important universities of our country. Its contribution to the State of Israel can be attested by its 80,000 graduates who have changed the face of the country as well as its life. Putting it plainly and bluntly: without Technion, Israel would be a radically different country. Technion graduates have taken a key role in reshaping this country from “Jaffa oranges” – to a “start- up nation.”
Furthermore, the discoveries of Technion faculty such as the data compression algorithm of Lampel and Ziv that paved the way for the revolution of Information Technology, the Nobel Prize winning discovery of the ubiquitin system responsible for protein degradation by Profs. Hershko and Ciechanover, the discovery of the quaziperiodic crystals by Prof. Shechtman, and development of effective anti-Parkinsonian medication by Profs. Youdim and Finberg, have had an important global impact on mankind.
I believe that the most important asset of any university is its faculty members. The quality of a university’s faculty members determines the quality of its research and teaching, and its national and international status. Excellent faculty members attract excellent students. They also influence the level of faculty members recruited in the future, as well as funding from research foundations and money raised from supporters. I plan to take an active role in recruiting the best faculty members to the Technion. This will be my top priority in the years ahead.
An additional essential component for the success of an academic institution is the quality of its students. We have to make an extra effort to attract to the Technion the best students in Israel and convince them why it is worthwhile and appropriate to invest in studies at the Technion and “only at the Technion.” To do that we have to “make them feel at home and cared for”.
Technion vision states: “A scientific-technological research university, which is among the 10 leaders in the world in the development of human capital, leadership and the creation of knowledge, and which acts to advance the State of Israel and humanity.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this wording. We must establish ways to achieve this vision. We have to determine policy, goals, priorities, and timetables to ensure that we are on the right track, especially in light of the difficult years ahead.