New Position At Hebrew University: Student Ombudsman

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Prof. Esther Shohami will protect students' rights and safeguard University values and principles

Prof. Esther ShohamiJerusalem, Sept. 11, 2012 - The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has appointed a Student Ombudsman who will address students' complaints about the conduct of the University's administration and faculty. Prof. Esther Shohami, a professor of pharmacology and former Dean of Students, has been appointed to the newly-created position.

The Student Ombudsman will address complaints from students and applicants about academic or administrative matters. The Ombudsman is empowered to investigate whether decisions handed down by University authorities are free of arbitrariness or bias, and may recommend changes to the decision. The University authorities will cooperate with the Ombudsman, provide her the necessary information and explain their decision on the matter. The Ombudsman will then submit a recommendation to the Rector, who will rule on the matter.

Prof. Shohami said, "Among members of the University community — students, faculty members and administrators — there should be a relationship based on the principles and values of trust, fairness, respect and mutual understanding. My role is to protect students' rights within the protocols and procedures of the University, at the same time upholding these principles and values. Naturally in the course of my work I may find deficiencies in various statutes or procedures, and part of my job, as I see it, is to alert the relevant authorities to these points and recommend changes."

A member of the Department of Pharmacology since 1981, Prof. Shohami teaches students of medicine and pharmacy, and mentors advanced degree students. Her research includes various strategies for treating traumatic brain injury, including the potential for developing novel therapies based on the protective effects of endocannabinoids, which are substances produced by the human body that resemble the active ingredients of the cannabis plant. She has held various posts at the university and beyond, and was recently elected president of the Israeli Association for Neuroscience. From 2006 to 2011, she served as Dean of Students.

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