Why, Zvi, Why?

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Dean of SEAS, Zvi Galilwho captured the hearts of every engineer with his idiosyncratic personal e-mails and his Australian-Israeli accentmay be leaving us for his native Israel as the new president of Tel Aviv University.
A senior source at the university says he is the leading candidate for the presidency, according to Israeli daily, Haaretz. On November 8, the executive council will select or reject the candidate.
Galil, who was appointed dean of SEAS in 1995, was responsible for the $26 million donation from Chinese businessman Charles Wei-Hsun Fu, after whom the school is now named.
In other news, engineers learn they can cry too.

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  1. rp  

    noooo not zvi!
    hopefully jack mcgourty doesn't get a promotion out of this somehow.
    can we get someone from caltech to replace zvi?

  2. i thought

    his name was Z. Y. Fu?


    Only someone from Heaven could truly replace Zvi. If he does leave, would there be some sort of ceremony where we could all gnash our teeth and cry bitter tears? And then leave if Dirty Mcgourty is promoted?

  4. question  

    Why is he "Dirty McGourty"?

    • because  

      he is a douchebag, flirts with all the girls more than 25 years younger than he is, and did i say he's a douchebag? every engineer and a surprisingly large portion of college students know how much of a tool this guy is. luckily hes not that high up to replace zvi, though i suppose he could still get a promotion and a little more power because of zvi leaving.

    • vincent

      trying to find out why he is dirty, so i was looking on his facebook page: why is his only "friend" a very young woman from cornell?!?!?!

  5. awwww

    i hope he doesn't leave. i'll miss his wacky antics. he helped balance the pompous intellectual/ nutty professor ratio at the school.

  6. NOOO!  


  7. Sprinkles  

    I love Zvi, and I'm not even in SEAS. He's just that cool.

  8. recent alum

    Dean Galil may be a likeable guy and a good figurehead, but his leadership at SEAS has not been all that stellar. For years, he spent far too much of his time on CVN, often to the detriment of students and the school in general. He has never been concerned about ensuring his graduates were employable engineers, nor did he help bring employers to campus when we most needed them after the tech industry slumped. And not that it matters that much to everyone, but he did not move SEAS very far in the rankings over these 11 years, despite all the money from Mr. Fu and Columbia's immensely profitable patent portfolio (most royalty revenue in the country for many of Zvi's years). It's true, we may be losing a good friend, but hopefully we can find someone who will have more of a positive impact on our school with the resources available.

    • zeke

      i thought john chu was responsible for the Fu donation. isn't he fu's brother in law? (see http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/news/archive/fall97/cover.php )

    • Anonymous

      I have to agree with this. Zvi has this heroic aura around him that makes people forget about his shortcomings. In my experience with him, which was as a student of SEAS and not part of ESC, he was not very open to student concerns and absolutely did nothing when I raised my concerns of professors outrageously accusing students of cheating with 0 proof.

      Like comment 9 said, where was the progress in making us an elite engineering school? Where was the actual non-finance recruiting? Where was he aside from being a "cool guy"?

  9. As much

    as I like Zvi, it is unreasonable to claim that the Engineering school is on the right track... the leadership of people like McGourty has turned a solid applied-technique program into a train wreck. Of a train filled with garbage!

    Zvi's a good guy and I've never had a bad experience with him, but I won't cry if we have some kind of leadership change around here. Preferably a big one.

  10. X.J.  

    Bwog, Zvi's accent is Austrian-Israeli, not Australian-Israeli, though I'm sure the latter would be quite a spectacle.

  11. Not-So-Recent Alum

    Actually, under Zvi SEAS has risen from about #37 to #20 in U.S. News. I don't give rankings much credence, but if you're going to make a big deal about them you should at least get your facts right.

    Keep in mind that "Columbia's immensely profitable patent portfolio" belongs to the University as a whole and is spent university-wide. Many of the most lucrative patents are from P&S, and SEAS doesn't even control the revenue from those patents its own faculty received.

    Keep in mind that there is only so much any dean can do to further strengthen the school until it gets more space -- something that hasn't happened since Schapiro opened almost 15 years ago. I'll bet every other top engineering program has built new space since then.

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