Is­rael is not the US

The Jerusalem Post - - COMMENT & FEATURES -

Pro­fes­sor Is­rael Au­mann, a 2005 No­bel Prize Lau­re­ate in Eco­nomics states, "Is­raeli uni­ver­si­ties should adopt dif­fer­en­tial pay­ment for aca­demic staff as is cus­tom­ary in the United States (“A unique place,” Grapevine, Jan­uary 13). "Dif­fer­en­tial wages will lead to com­pe­ti­tion, new ideas, progress, which is how evo­lu­tion and eco­nomics work."

I beg to dif­fer. In Is­raeli uni­ver­si­ties, the strug­gle to be pro­moted through the lec­turer, se­nior lec­turer, as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor, ten­ure, to full pro­fes­sor sta­tus is more than enough in­cen­tive to be a bet­ter lec­turer and con­duct high-qual­ity re­search and far out­weighs fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives. Salary in­creases are any­way achieved by pro­mo­tions.

In ad­di­tion, it is wrong to com­pare the US, with its thou­sands of uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges, with Is­rael, which has far fewer in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing. There is far less op­por­tu­nity for Is­raeli aca­demics to mi­grate com­pet­i­tively from univer­sity to univer­sity or from col­lege to col­lege. The eco­nomics of large num­bers does not ap­ply to the eco­nomics of small num­bers.

In ad­di­tion, in Is­rael, where ev­ery­body knows ev­ery­body else, it could set the stage for end­less con­fronta­tions and ma­nip­u­la­tions.

YIGAL HOROWITZ Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus of Ra­di­a­tion Physics


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