Ariel mayor Ron Nachman told Arutz Sheva Wednesday that university presidents who oppose recognition of Ariel University Center as a fully fledged research university were being hypocritical. "This is a bunch of seven people who think they are a Middle Ages type guild," he said. "They receive over five billion shekels every year and they do what they want with it. There is no financial opposition here, it is all politically motivated."
The Committee for Planning and Financing of the Council for Higher Education (CHE) will convene next week to announce its decision regarding recognition of the Ariel University Center as a research university.
A report submitted to the CHE by its Committee for Monitoring Judea and Samaria has determined that the Ariel University Center complies with all the necessary criteria for being recognized as a university. However, the heads of the existing research universities have come out uniformly against the recognition of Ariel as a research university.
Nachman said that the opposition stems from the academic institution's location on Samaria (Shomron). "The Olmert government decided in its time to prevent the establishment of the university in Ariel because it is outside the Green Line," he explained. "The university heads appear to be continuing that approach."
Nachman voiced hope that the government would stand up to the pressure and grant Ariel university status. "Let the government show this entire guild, once and for all, who holds the reins. With all due respect, they do not run the country. No one gave them that mandate."
"The CHE gave Ariel five years to meet the criteria; Ariel passed the threshold and went far beyond it. The entire story about money is just an excuse. They are playing a political game in the guise of professors, except for [Moshe] Kaveh of Bar Ilan who serves as their fig leaf. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and it is time to remove the masks from their faces."