Three weeks after a Hebrew University disciplinary tribunal found a senior lecturer guilty of "conduct unbecoming an academic faculty member" in affairs with three female students he supervised, both sides have appealed the ruling. Prof. Eyal Ben-Ari, of the sociology and anthropology department, was convicted of exploiting his status when he had intimate relationships with one of his students and suggested to two students that they share a room with him when they were abroad. He was also found to have damaged the professional credibility of two of the students as well as that of the university after he agreed to supervise their doctoral dissertations despite the close relationships they had.
Ben-Ari was suspended from his work at the university for two years, during which he would not be paid his salary, starting with this coming academic year.
Ben-Ari was not convicted by the school on charges of sexual harassment but according to the university this was only because the violations were committed before legislation on the issue had been drafted.
However, Ben-Ari's attorneys say the affair should be viewed as though Ben-Ari has been exonerated of those charges.
In its appeal the Hebrew University has asked to distance Ben-Ari permanently from the institution.
"The university believes that someone who has been convicted of exploiting his status and authority as the supervisor of research students in a sexual context ... is not worthy of continuing to serve as a member of the faculty and is not worthy of teaching and supervising students, both female and male," the school stated.
The appeal also argues Ben-Ari should be convicted in an additional affair from which he was exonerated. He was accused of sexually harassing a doctoral student and cutting off her work when she rebuffed his advances.
Ben-Ari's attorneys Reuben Bar-Haim and Mira Amsallem-Beit On have appealed both the conviction and the punishment. They claim in the appeal that "until this case, no lecturer has ever faced judgment for romantic relations with a student. The only 'sexual' incident of 'touching' in which there has been a convic
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now