Prof. Rafi Melnick is the new president of Reichman University

26 December

Reichman University

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Prof. Rafi Melnick has been appointed president of Reichman University. He will replace Founding President Prof. Uriel Reichman, who announced the conclusion of his term as president last September. Reichman's announcement came in the wake of the Council for Higher Education’s official recognition of the institution as a university – the first private university in Israel – and the institution’s Board of Directors’ decision to change its name to Reichman University.


Prof. Reichman was appointed chairman of the Board of Directors, an unpaid position, and a search committee was appointed to replace him. Prof. Melnick was unanimously elected by the search committee appointed to find a new president for Reichman University. The appointment of Prof. Melnick, the university’s provost, was approved by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly of Reichman University.


Prof. Melnick, who had been serving as the university’s provost, replaced Prof. Reichman in September as acting president.


Prof. Uriel Reichman welcomed Prof. Melnick's election as president of the university, saying, “Reichman University is blessed to have Prof. Rafi Melnick appointed as the second president in its history. Prof. Melnick has been a partner in leading this university for many years. His agreement to serve as president gives me confidence that our university will continue to fulfill its values and make significant academic and human achievements. Prof. Melnick is an integral part of this university, and as provost has led it through considerable changes over the past few years. During one of the more difficult periods we have experienced, the COVID pandemic, we were forced to shift from being an institution that emphasizes community life on campus to one that focuses on distance learning. Prof. Melnick demonstrated impressive leadership as he led the transition of all curricula and services to be delivered online. For me, our university has been my life’s mission and achievement. I conclude my role as president with a great sense of confidence in the future of the institution and in Prof. Melnick’s leadership. On behalf of the entire Reichman University family and as Chairman of the Board, I wish Prof. Melnick success and promise to support him in whatever he needs to continue to realize the unique story of this place.”


Prof. Melnick thanked the search committee and the board for their decision and said, “Reichman University has been my academic home for many years. I have the honor and gratification of being a veteran faculty member here, and over the years I have witnessed closely and taken part in the growth of the institution and its many achievements, both academically and in its contribution to Israeli academia. It is a great privilege to step into the tremendous shoes of Prof. Uriel Reichman, my teacher and friend, a remarkable entrepreneur and a man of unparalleled vision. I thank the Board of Directors and the General Assembly for the trust they have placed in me and for the privilege of continuing this extraordinary enterprise, the first private university in Israel, and for the opportunity to lead it in accomplishing even more, in Israel and around the world. The recognition we received as a university obliges us to continue to develop academically and to reach even greater heights in the field of research. In our interdisciplinary tradition, we will continue to break down the traditional notion of academic “silos” and integrate technology into the social sciences, as part of our ‘new interdisciplinarity’ approach `z.”


Professor Rafi Melnick speaking with students


Background: Prof. Rafi Melnick

Prof. Rafi Melnick, 74, is an expert in Israeli economics. His research and publications focus on monetary economics, the Israeli economy, and applied econometrics. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in Economics and B.A. in Economics and Statistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Prof. Melnick joined Reichman University as a permanent member of the faculty in 1998. He served two different terms as provost, was the dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, and founded the Tiomkin School of Economics. Alongside his role as provost, he has been a senior researcher and lecturer in the fields of economics and government, and regularly publishes the “Melnick Index,” which analyzes levels of activity and economic shifts in Israel in real time. The index has been published for the last 20 years.


Prof. Melnick is a senior economist who has served, inter alia, as a member of the Bank of Israel's monetary committee. He currently serves as chairman of the investment committee of Clal Insurance Company. In previous roles, he served as the deputy director of the Bank of Israel’s research department, as a member of the advisory committee of the Economic Council at the prime minister's office and of the advisory committee to the minister of finance, as chairman of the director-general of the finance ministry’s Macroeconomic Forum, and as a member of the ministry’s committee for economic and social change (the Trajtenberg Committee). He has been a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a guest lecturer at Boston University and UC Davis. He also served as chairman of the investment committees of both Migdal and Hamagen insurance companies, as a consultant to Bank Leumi, as a member of the board of directors of Psagot-Ofek Securities and Investment Ltd. as well as a member of the firm's investment committee, and as a research associate at the Center for Social Policy Studies Research in Israel.

Link to the announcement for students, click here >>