Last week, BGU's executive committee approved the appointment of Prof. Sarab Abu-Rabia Queder (pictured below) to the new post of vice president for diversity and inclusion. A member of the Department of Education, Prof. Abu-Rabia Queder is the first Arab woman from the Negev promoted to professor at BGU. Her research focuses on issues of diversity and inequality among minorities in academia. She has been an active member of University committees, most recently as part of the planning and budget committee to promote lower socio-economic sectors of society. She also led a team tasked with promoting Arab women doctoral candidates.
In her new position, she will be responsible for equal representation in the student and faculty body of Arabs, women, those with disabilities, Ethiopian immigrants, Haredim and LGBTQ+.
Ben-Gurion University has been committed, since its inception, to social responsibility, justice, equality, all sectors of Israeli society and especially the communities of the Negev. Cultivating ability and excellence while giving equal opportunities to all is the basis of the University's leading scientific and educational achievements. Over and above excellent research, equality develops a community that reflects multicultural Israeli society. An open and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of religion, gender, race, or ethnicity, will create a sense of community that enables coexistence while respecting individual identities and fostering encounters that bridge the gaps between the sectors of Israeli society. All while preserving academic freedom, freedom of expression and mutual respect.
Appointing a vice president for equality and diversity fosters a sense of belonging, of being in demand and of safety among students, staff, and faculty to create a cushion that propels personal, social, and academic growth.
Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, "Equal opportunities and diverse representation lead to excellent science and academics. Prof. Sarab Abu-Rabia Queder is uniquely suited to the position as her research focuses on these issues and she herself is an example of its importance. I am pleased with the committee's decision and look forward to working with her."
Prof. Sarab Abu-Rabia Queder, "My research over the years has led me to understand the need for correcting injustices. I have the burning desire to help the Other, to be there at the points that can make a difference. I am proud to have been appointed and gratified that the University administration saw fit to do so."