New Hebrew University Rector is Prof. Asher Cohen


Prof. Cohen is head of the Department of Psychology; he will begin four-year term on October 1, 2012

July 4, 2012—The Senate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has elected Professor Asher Cohen as the new Rector of the Hebrew University. Prof. Cohen will take office on October 1, 2012 for a four-year term. He replaces the current Rector, Prof. Sarah Stroumsa, as she completes a full term of office.

After graduating with a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Psychology from the Hebrew University, Prof. Cohen did his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the University of Oregon in the U.S. He served as a senior lecturer at Indiana University before returning in the early 1990s to the Hebrew University’s Department of Psychology. Since 2008 he has served as the head of the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Social Sciences. He has also held various managerial positions at the University, including as head of the association of University professors.

Prof. Cohen is a researcher in cognitive science. His research focuses on the relationship between the human perception system and human response mechanisms, in situations that require very fast motor responses. He developed a theoretical model that successfully predicts in which situations performing two tasks will lead to a decline in abilities.

Prof. Cohen said, "As rector I will strive to focus on three fronts: First, I will work to recruit to the Hebrew University the finest researchers from Israel and around the world, and to provide them with the necessary conditions for standing at the forefront of global research. Second, I'll work to refresh the University’s curriculum and to develop programs that offer innovative combinations of different disciplines. Third, I will increase the University’s international cooperation and encourage student exchanges with prestigious institutions abroad, in order to accelerate the integration of the University into the global village of higher education and to prepare our student body for the dynamic and challenging realities of the 21st Century.”

Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, who chaired the search committee, congratulated Prof. Cohen and commented, "Prof. Cohen brings to his new role extensive knowledge about the University and a history of success in public service. I have no doubt that Prof. Cohen will contribute greatly to raising the prestige of the Hebrew University and to enhancing its standing as an academic leader in Israel and abroad. There are many important tasks ahead of us as we strive to implement the program for renewal that the University has begun."

Prof. Ben-Sasson added, “This is also an opportunity to thank Prof. Stroumsa for her dedicated service to the University in her various roles, culminating in her tenure as the Rector of the University. She was an active partner in confronting the many challenges that stood before us."