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Giora Lehavi: His Job Is to Check on Quality Management, and Other Standards

Can social responsibility be standardized? The University thinks so, and University President Aaron Ben Ze’ev and Board of Governors member Ziva Patir, who is director-general of the Israel Standards Institute, have been involved with an international committee in advancing an international standard on the matter.

Whether or not social responsibility, which is high on the University’s agenda, alongside research and teaching, eventually becomes a standard, the exercise of this feature necessarily involves outreach to the community. The University is in fact at the stage of implementing two already existing international standards, each of which also has an orientation to the community: one is OHSAS 18001—occupational health and safety management systems; the other is ISO 14001—environmental management systems.

If the University makes a commitment to be certified for these two standards as it did for the prestigious quality management standard ISO 9000, the person who will likely oversee their implementation on campus is Giora Lehavi, head of the University’s Quality Management Unit.

Lehavi, who took up the newly created administrative position in October 2003, supervises a total of 22 University administrative units, including academic administrations, that received individual certifications from the Israeli Standards Organization attesting to their quality management and functioning. In September 2004, the University as a whole was certified as meeting the international standard of quality management. The University of Haifa is the only Israeli university, and one of the few in the world, to gain this distinction.

Focus talked with Lehavi about the role of the youngest administrative unit at the University.
His guiding principle is that the University is “in the final analysis, a service organization.” That means, “it must strive to improve services to the consumer—mainly the student—all the time.” Competition among the Israeli universities, but especially between the universities and the growing number of colleges demand this improvement, he continued. In addition, the students are more demanding than in the past.

“It is impossible to provide the services without an orderly system that can supervise it and propel it forward,” he stated.
The Quality Management Unit, Lehavi explained, helps the different units to maintain a quality system by writing rules in cooperation with his unit. It tested the practical application of these rules and then reviewed and encouraged each unit going through the process of their implementation.

Units that receive certification go through an internal auditing of their procedures twice a year. He stressed that the regulations come not from above but from the employees themselves, noting that there is no rule that interferes with a worker. For that reason, he prefers the term “work as a logical process” rather than work rules. The process can change, he points out, if workers advance new ideas that facilitate the work.

In his view, ISO has made things easier for administrative employees in the academic departments, since each unit works the same way toward students and toward faculty members.

Lehavi is perhaps especially sensitive toward the way students are treated, since he had spent the previous ten years giving service to them as Head of the University’s Students Administration Division. Prior to that, he had been administrator of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Mathematics (as it was then known). It is not surprising to learn that the man who sees to it now that students receive the services due them earned his B.A. (in Geography and Political Science) here at the University.
His Master’s degree, gained at the University of Sidney in Australia, was in town and country planning. Although he likely never thought about it, that training may make it easier for him to help his alma mater become one of the first organization’s to be certified in the area of social responsibility when and if an international standard is agreed.


In This Issue:

President’s Focus - Battling Unjust Resolutions

Prof. Azy Barak’s SAHAR Offers a Vital Virtual Shoulder to Those with Nowhere Else to Turn

University Joins War on Drugs,
Campaign Is Integral to Interdisciplinary Clinical Center’s Service

Kidma Project Helps Students Face Their Identities

University Will Not Be Silent in Face of UK Boycott

Anat Liberman Is New External Relations Head

Prof. Majid Al-Haj to Be New Dean of Research

Prof. Sophia Menache – New Dean of Graduate Studies

Prof. Menachem Mor—Dean of Humanities

Virtual Open House Proves a Big Hit

Students Have an Address for Complaints: Professor Schatzker, Their Ombudsman

Computer Science and Occupational Therapy Team Up for Virtual Reality Conference
Student Develops Innovative Technology to Deal with Post-Traumatic Stress

Giora Lehavi: His Job Is to Check on Quality Management, and Other Standards

University’s Sports Teams Prove a Winner in More Ways than One

Student Publishes His Road to Wisdom

Honors and Awards

Mother and Son—in utero—Studied Hebrew at University’s Summer Ulpan

University’s China Connection Continues

Unique Algorithm Enables Better Mobile Wireless Communication




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