Tel Aviv Univ. President Prof. Klafter
Tel Aviv Univ. President Prof. KlafterIsrael news photo

Prof. Joseph Klafter was approved in a near-unanimous vote by the faculty senate Wednesday night to fill the position as president of the institution following a search committee’s recommendation. The vote was 213-24, with 20 abstentions,


“The University to me, like you, is my home…. I see the task of the president, among other things, as further building the academic power….A time of a difficult crisis can be an opportunity to further great vision,” he said in his acceptance speech.


He succeeds Tzvi Galil, who reportedly was involved in a power struggle between the power of the faculty and officials of an executive council.


The new president is an internationally known chemistry professor, characterized by University Rector and acting president Prof. Danny Levitan as someone who will “bring a lot of respect for the university.” Levitan added that “the past is behind us now.”


Prof. Klafter is the institution’s eighth president and has been in the chemistry department since 1987. He headed the Israel Science Foundation the past seven years and has won several distinguished awards, including the Weizmann Institute of Science Prize and the Rothschild Prize.


He studied at Bar-IlanUniversity for his Bachelor’s and Master's degrees and learned for his Doctorate at TelAvivUniversity.


The university Senate called on the new president to work together in furthering changes in university laws and in the university's administrative structure. It emphasized the need to allow senior academics to influence the future of the university through greater authority.