At a meeting held today, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) resolved to officially recognize the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) as a university.

 

The Herzliya IDC will be officially recognized as a university, following the Council for Higher Education resolution today, to accept the unanimous recommendation made by the special expert committee the Council appointed to look into accrediting the Herzliya IDC as a university. In the conclusion to the report, the committee members find:

'The IDC is suitable as a university, guaranteeing excellent academic and research standards, that meets the required standards for a university. Hence, we unanimously advise the Council for Higher Education, with no qualifications, to recognize the Herzliya IDC as a university. The Herzliya IDC counting among Israel's research universities will be an honor to the country and its higher education system'.


The committee's report is the latest in a series of glowing reports by international committee experts appointed by the CHE, to examine the IDC's academic fitness as an academic institution that carries out advanced research and awards Ph.D.'s. Experts from leading universities worldwide staffed the committees, and based on their recommendations, they CHE authorized the Center to offer Ph.D. degrees in law, computer science, and psychology.

The decision to recognize the IDC as a university is made 27 years after Professor Uriel Reichman founded the institution, modeled after the elite universities in the United States. His aim was to make it Israel's first private university, a recognized, independent academic institution with a nonprofit organization status, that does not require a budget from the public-government system, financing its operations out of tuition fees and donations.


Now, and further to the Herzliya IDC board of directors' and general meeting's resolution last year, the institution will change its name to Reichmann University. Changing the name to "University" is intended to accurately reflect its nature as an academic and research institution, that awards Ph.D.'s and complies with the highest academic standards. At the same time, the general meeting sought to honor the president and founder who announced the end of his term as president, and name the institution after him. This, in recognition of his ambitious vision of a university that will train the future leaders of the State of Israel in the spirit of Zionism and the Israeli Declaration of Independence values, recognizing his persistence in realizing his vision and his groundbreaking enterprising, that made the IDC a top-tier academic institution in Israel.


The general meeting resolution was made with the advice of the institution's board of directors, chaired by Professor Amnon Rubenstein, Israel Prize for Law Laureate, former Minister of Education and Chair of the CHE, who said: 

"Recognizing the Herzliya IDC as a university is an important milestone in the evolution of the Israeli higher education system. Israel now joins the countries that have excellent private elite institutions beside the state-funded institutions. Since its foundation, the IDC has made significant contributions to higher education in Israel with its innovation and unique nature, and especially in how it challenged and motivated older institutions". 

"Professor Uriel Reichman is a public servant and educator in every fiber of his being, and throughout his life, he contributed to the State of Israel, and to reinforcing its democratic, liberal values. Professor Reichman was involved in major public initiatives, including a Constitution for Israel, but his life's work is the educational, Zionist endeavor of founding the Herzliya IDC. Were it not for Prof. Reichmann, who envisioned and executed the Center's establishment with extraordinary talent and dedication, the IDC would never have existed, and none is more worthy of having a university named after him".


In November 2018, the Council for Higher Education gave Professor Reichman a special award for his "overreaching, significant contribution to promoting higher education in Israel". The explanations for the award state, among other things, that "Professor Reichman was a pioneer who founded a non-state academic institution… Thus paving the way for the State of Israel to develop a higher education system that does not rely on public funding.

Other institutions were founded following in his footsteps, but there can be no doubt that he is the figure that influence the entire system, and the results of his work are sure to continue to reflect on the system and its future development… Professor Reichman founded the institution with an impressive academic vision by allowing interdisciplinary studies as early as 25 years ago, before they were commonplace in the Israeli academia, thus greatly influencing academic discourse, research, and teaching throughout the entire higher education system in Israel".