Home
Search
עברית
Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Lawfare
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Donate
General Articles
Lack of Transparency in Selecting Members to Committees of Budget for Research

02.06.16

 Editorial Note

The Social Science Network has published a letter of protest in Hebrew by Rachman Chaim, a Professor at the Technion in the department of materials science & engineering, where he complained about the lack of transparency over who is selected to become a member of the budget for research committees, and this, according to Rachman, is corrupting the system.  In his view, some research proposals have been turned down because an applicant was not acquainted with members of the committee. 
He writes, "For several years I do not submit research proposals to public funding bodies known as 'foundations of competitive research' (such as BSF, GIF, ISF). This is because of lack of correct administration, if not corrupt, whereby members of the professional committees are set/selected using a refer-a-friend method. While sometimes external reports advise otherwise, research proposals are ultimately determined by the members of these committees. This causes harm to many researchers who are not 'connected'. Lack of public supervision over the use of these research funds which are not transparent to the public, is a key factor in this unethical behavior."

Rachman also protests the "lack of financial transparency of the Technion Research Authority (and probably all the universities in Israel). University administrations have established (or converted) the research foundations into limited liability companies, receiving public funds but are not transparent to this public, which is outrageous in itself. I have described the funds going to research authorities, and because of the lack of transparency they have the capability to utilize funds in an unethical manner, if not corrupt, of research budgets."
                          hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Rachman's homepage at the Technion lists his exchange, backdating over a decade ago, of letters in Hebrew with three research foundations which he titled (The danger of protectionism in public research funds-GIF ; The danger of protectionism in public research funds-BSF ; The danger of protectionism in public research funds-ISF).
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
He explains, "this site deals with the possible corruption circle extending, back and force, between the so-called ‘research universities’ and the ‘competitive’ public research foundations in Israel. My attempt is to open, to expose, and to interrupt this corruption circle, for the better of the new generations of the Israeli scientists and the public funded science in Israel. Some of these files are letters and communications between me and the research foundation authorities, where it became clear that the referees / judges who determine the fate of the research proposals were nominated unethically via the ‘friend brings a friend’ method. This may lead to unethical / biased support of proposals, resulting in a mediocre research in the best case, or to abuse / misuse of the public money in the worse case. The letters dated almost a decade ago are sadly still relevant. Some of these files are letters and communications between me and the Technion authorities, up to the level of the Technion President. Since 2006, all the Israeli universities became legally public entities whose financial activities should be transparent to the public."

Rachman raises very serious concerns, but so far no one responded to his protest. The Ministry of Education, the Council of Higher Education and even the Ministry of Science and Technology should look into Rachman's allegations and scrutinize his findings.

 



(Translated from Hebrew by IAM)

An open letter to faculty members and researchers (academic network) 
May 22, 2016
By: Rachman Chaim - Technion

Hello,
Can you understand my protest?
- For several years I do not submit research proposals to public funding bodies known as 'foundations of competitive research' (such as BSF, GIF, ISF). This is because of lack of correct administration, if not corrupt, whereby members of the professional committees are set/selected using the Refer-a-friend method. While sometimes external reports advise otherwise, research proposals are ultimately determined by the members of these committees. This causes harm to many researchers who are not 'connected'. Lack of public supervision over the use of these research funds which is not transparent to the public, is a key factor in this unethical behavior. I do not cooperate with foundations in which members of the committee are not determined in tenders open to any researcher to serve as a member in an evaluation committee. Of course my research is certainly damaged by my decision, but this is the meaning of protest.
 
- For several years I do not bring research funds to the Technion, an institution where I teach and research. This is due to lack of financial transparency of the Technion Research Authority (and probably all the universities in Israel). University administrations have established (or converted) the research foundations into limited liability companies, receiving public funds but are not transparent to this public, which is outrageous in itself. I have described the funds going to research authorities, and because of the lack of transparency they have the capability to utilize funds in an unethical manner, if not corrupt, of research budgets.
My research here too is of course damaged by my decision, but again this is the meaning of protest.

The question is: What is the meaning of protest in terms of the administrations and those responsible of these type of misconduct? What does this mean in terms of faculty and researchers who cooperate with such faulty behavior?
A society where its leaders are insensitive to the protest of its members and does not work to correct the injustice committed by it, is vain, corrupt and useless to its members so its end is to fall apart.
Eventually the academic community will not be able to demand and foster a just and civilized society as long as it is drowning in the swamp of dishonesty and corruption.
Rachman Chaim - Technion


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rachman Chaim <rchaim@technion.ac.il>
Date: 2016-05-22 11:03 GMT+03:00
Subject: [Academia-IL] האם תבינו מחאה? מאת: רחמן חיים - הטכניון
To: Academia Network <academia-il@listserver.huji.ac.il>


מכתב פתוח לחברי הסגל והחוקרים (ברשת האקדמיה)                              22 מאי 2016
מאת: רחמן חיים - הטכניון
שלום,
 
האם תבינו את מחאתי?
- זה מספר שנים שאני לא מגיש הצעות מחקר לקרנות הציבוריות המכונות בפי רשויות המחקר כ'קרנות תחרותיות' (כדוגמת BSF, GIF, ISF). הדבר נובע מנוהל לא-תקין אם לא משחת, לפיו חברי הוועדות המקצועיות נקבעים/נבחרים בשיטת חבר-מביא-חבר. למרות חווֹת הדעת החיצוניות, גורל הצעות המחקר בסופו של התהליך נקבע על ידי חברי וועדות אלה. הדבר גורם נזק לחוקרים רבים שאינם 'מקושרים'. חוסר בקרה ציבורית אחר אופן השימוש בכספי מחקר אלה המגיעים לרשויות המחקר ואשר בעצמן לא שקופות בפני הציבור, הוא גורם מרכזי להתנהלות לא אתית זאת. איני משתף פעולה עם קרנות בהן חברי הועדה לא נקבעים במכרז פתוח לכל חוקר כדי לשמש חבר בוועדות הערכה. בוודאי שמחקריי ניזוקים מהחלטה זאת שלי, אך זוהי משמעות המחאה.
 
- זה מספר שנים איני מביא תקציבי מחקר לרשות המחקר בטכניון, מוסד בו אני מלמד וחוקר. הדבר נובע מחוסר שקיפות כספית של רשות המחקר בטכניון (וכנראה בכל האוניברסיטאות בישראל) בפני הציבור. הנהלות האוניברסיטאות הקימו (או המירו) את רשויות המחקר לחברות בערבון מוגבל, המקבלות כספי מחקר ציבוריים אך לא חייבות בשקיפות בפני אותו הציבור, דבר שערורייתי בפני עצמו. כספי המחקר שתיארתי לעיל מגיעים לרשויות המחקר, ובגלל חוסר שקיפות יש אפשרות לניצול לא אתי אם לא משחת של תקציבי המחקר.
'אַתָּה הִשְׁחַרְתָּ פְּנֵי הַמְּלֻמָּד' נִטְעַן      'כִּי חָשַׂפְתָּ שֶׁאֵין שְׁקִיפוּת' יַעַן
אִם פְּנֵי מְלֻמָּד מָשְׁחָת שְׁחוֹרִים           מָה אָשֵׁם הָאוֹר הַמַּסְגִּיר מַעַן
 
כמובן גם כאן מחקריי ניזוקים מהחלטה זאת שלי, אך שוב זוהי משמעות המחאה.
נשאלת השאלהמה משמעות המחאה מבחינת ההנהלות והאחראים על התנהלות לא ערכית ולא אתית מסוגים אלה? מה המשמעות מבחינת חברי הסגל והחוקרים המשתפים פעולה עם ההתנהלות הקלוקלת?
חברה בה המובילים והמנהיגים לא רגישים למחאות של חבריה ולא פועלים לתיקון העוולות הנעשות בה, היא חברה ריקנית, מושחתת וחסרת תוחלת לחבריה וסופה להתפרק.
בסופו של דבר הקהילה האקדמית לא תוכל לדרוש ולטפח חברה צודקת ומתוקנת כל עוד היא טובעת בעצמה בביצת חוסר היושרה והשחיתות.
רחמן חיים - הטכניון 
R. Chaim
Associate Prof.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Haifa 32000 Israel
Phone (W): 972-4-8294589
Phone (H): 972-4-8238610
 
=======================================



Dear Visitor,
You may wonder what this commentary site is talking about, especially when you cannot find any files in English. Well, this site deals with the possible corruption circle extending, back and force, between the so-called ‘research universities’ and the ‘competitive’ public research foundations in Israel. My attempt is to open, to expose, and to interrupt this corruption circle, for the better of the new generations of the Israeli scientists and the public funded science in Israel. Some of these files are letters and communications between me and the research foundation authorities, where it became clear that the referees / judges who determine the fate of the research proposals were nominated unethically via the ‘friend brings a friend’ method. This may lead to unethical / biased support of proposals, resulting in a mediocre research in the best case, or to abuse / misuse of the public money in the worse case. The letters dated almost a decade ago are sadly still relevant. Some of these files are letters and communications between me and the Technion authorities, up to the level of the Technion President. Since 2006, all the Israeli universities became legally public entities whose financial activities should be transparent to the public. These letters clearly show that the Technion administration undermines the transparency regulations imposed by the Law for the Information Freedom (חוק חופש המידע). This ignorance of transparency is expressed by claiming the privacy protection law on the public research money granted to the Technion faculty. This may enable illegal as well as unethical financial activities such as misuse / abuse of the research funds (see above). The scientific community worldwide and especially in the European Community are unaware of this misconduct. Other files are academic poems and stories, a sort of satiric response to the unethical behavior and misconduct observed and protected by the SILENCE in the academic system in Israel.
R. Chaim July 2010  



 


Back to "General Articles"Send Response
Top Page
    Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
    Visitors: 243011325Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version
    blueweb