Superb teachers allow BGU to prepare the next generation of thinkers, doers, and disrupters in every field, from engineering to public service, computer science to medicine. Innovative researchers ensure our ability to help solve many of Israel's and the world's most pressing challenges. Yet a high standard of scholarship not only enriches the process of students' learning and results in key research output. Outstanding faculty members also turn us into a talent magnet, enabling us to attract both more funding for critical research and more quality faculty members and graduate students to the University. In turn, their presence leads to the creation of new centers of excellence, strengthening our ability to combat the national brain-drain problem and help Israel retain its brightest minds.
The Double Recruitment Challenge
For BGU, recruiting top talent is often a double challenge: To secure researchers who have completed prestigious postdoctoral studies abroad, we must compete against not only more centrally located universities in Israel, but also against well-funded universities around the world. Frequently this requires investing in the construction or outfitting of advanced laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as the provision of funding for graduate students and seed money for research.
In addition, BGU has set its sights on not only the recruitment and retention of a world-class faculty, but also one that is the first choice of talented women and minorities in Israel. Through the Office for Gender Equity, for example, we have developed a strategic plan for increasing the percentage of women recruited to tenure-track positions, promoted to senior ranks, and occupying leadership positions across the University. Activities and policies aimed at achieving these objectives include mentoring and empowerment training and balanced gender representation on the University's central committees. We also appointed a new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, who will work to attract and retain outstanding researchers from underrepresented populations. She will be responsible for proportional representation in the student body and among faculty of Arabs, women, those with disabilities, Ethiopian immigrants, Haredim, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. By achieving these key objectives, we will promote diverse approaches to teaching and research, broaden the perspectives and experiences that comprise academic discourse, and ultimately advance our goal of excellence.
Faculty as the Central Asset
To achieve our larger vision of national and global impact, we are committed not only to facilitating first-class research, but also to investing in our faculty's development as outstanding educators, capable of inspiring and equipping the next generation to go farther and make a bigger difference than ever before. By applying our pioneering approach to research and entrepreneurship to teaching, our Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching offers lecturers the opportunity to enhance their efficacy through the power of new technologies. The center also helps advance lecturers' educational initiatives, provides workshops and individual guidance, and encourages more open and productive dialogue between students and faculty.
Finally, we have also appointed a new pro-rector to help improve our faculty's performance and responsiveness to students' needs. Along with assisting in the integration of new technologies and methodologies in the classroom, the pro-rector will lead the University's efforts to build awareness among faculty members of social factors that influence academic performance and empower them to assume responsibility for students' outcomes.
Together, these efforts will ensure that promising new researchers succeed not only in their own research, but also in transmitting their knowledge and enthusiasm to their students. Moreover, they will prepare a new generation of professionals and academics equipped to advance BGU's ambitious goals.
Partner in Bringing Top Talent to BGU
To support the recruitment and retention of promising researchers, the University has established the President's Distinguished Faculty Recruitment Program. The program enables BGU President Daniel Chamovitz both to identify rising stars and to offer them competitive recruitment packages. Given our goal of recruiting numerous up-and-coming researchers each year, however, the program's cost can only be borne in partnership with individuals who share the University's vision for the Negev, Israel, and the world, and who recognize the vital role of academic and research excellence in making this vision a reality.
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