UM Signs Collaborative Agreement in Israel

Partnership will focus on fields of humanities, social and behavioral sciences.

Coral Gables (June 06, 2011) — The University of Miami and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have signed an agreement to collaborate in areas that include joint research, academic cooperative, and student exchange programs. The agreement was signed by BGU President Rivka Carmi and UM President Donna E. Shalala, who received an honorary doctoral degree from BGU on May 30.

In the coming months, both universities will focus on developing collaborative and cooperative programs of study in the fields of humanities and fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, engineering and mathematics, earth sciences, and management sciences. Under this agreement, the universities may co-sponsor local and international seminars and colloquia as well as exchange faculty and research information.

“The University of Miami has quickly moved into the top ranks of American universities, and we have now found our Israeli counterpart,” President Shalala said at the signing ceremony at BGU. “It is vital for our two institutions to join our minds, voices, and hands in the service of our collective humanity. A lifetime dedicated to public service has taught me that education and research are the best tools for building bonds of friendship and mutual respect among peoples and nations.”

President Shalala also extended an invitation to BGU President Carmi to speak at UM. “We are very honored and pleased to be signing this agreement. You were a role model of mine and to other women when women weren’t so prevalent in positions of power,” Carmi said.

Roni Avissar, dean of UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, accompanied President Shalala to BGU, meeting with Professor Amir Sagi, dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and member of the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, to discuss mutual areas of cooperation between their respective departments.

Ultimately, the universities may establish a joint student exchange program.

“This is a very exciting development for students and researchers at both universities with the potential to closely link two world-class institutions,” explains Elise Dolgow, director of the Greater Florida Region of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “In South Florida, our supporters and the community-at-large should anticipate many exciting programs, joint research developments, and cooperative projects in a number of areas.”

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BGU President Rivka Carmi, left, and UM President Donna E. Shalala at the signing. Photo Credit: Shai Shmueli.

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