1 3 8 D O C U M E N T 1 2 8 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 8 trustees has apparently been maintained, we are constantly confronted by faits accomplis that the poorly informed and seldom convened board of trustees must then necessarily accept and endorse, as in the lamentable case of the appointment of Professor Kligler, when an agreement with the Joint [Distribution Committee] was made that the board of trustees was no longer able to test for merit, and now again the recent agreement made between Dr. Magnes and Hadassah concerning the incorporation of the latter’s section head into the university’s teaching faculty, a development that, as I learned, is presently realized in the person of Professor Kligler himself.[6] I see in this a further encroachment on the competence of the board of trustees. Furthermore, I must also frankly tell you that, as Dr. Magnes rightly said in his letter, I do not consider him, given his general qualifications, fit to hold the extraor- dinarily responsible positions that have been entrusted to him.[7] But in this internal letter it may be said that Dr. Magnes would certainly not have been chosen for this position, whose significance for Palestine’s cultural development and for Judaism as a whole we may be incapable of judging, had the funds he has raised and will raise through his close relations with the university’s American donors not played a determining role. If he was only the head for business and administrative affairs and represented the university abroad, there would be, in my opinion, no objection to be made. On the other hand, as an executive, decision-making and planning authority for matters of research and teaching, a man with a high level of scientific competence is necessary, one who is capable, by dint of his reputation won by intellectual achievements and who on the basis of his own experience in the admin- istration of a university, is suitable to lead a university in these matters. I cannot find this suitability as an academic leader in Dr. Magnes, though I gladly recognize all the good Dr. Magnes has done the university outside the academic sphere. On the basis of the experiences of recent years I must personally refuse to continue to be a member of the board of trustees and academic council if the university’s lead- ership continues to be entrusted to Dr. Magnes as it has been up to now. Perhaps this problem might be solved through a series of administrative improvements. I must say that I am also skeptical about this, but I would nonethe- less like to add that in the report of the Committee on Teaching and Research that was recently sent to us, there are a few encouraging ideas that, if they are adopted and faithfully carried out, might contain within them the possibility of an improvement.[8] Such a possibility might lie in the proposed appointment of an academic head who would have to be, I believe, independent of the administration, but fully privy to the financial situation, and should act in Jerusalem as a kind of representative of the academic council. He would, of course, have to be an
Previous Page Next Page