It should be noted that while NSU head Shmuli opposed granting university status to Ariel, student unions representing Israel's universities voted FOR that status. With over 11,000 students, including several hundred Arabs, and over 200 engaged in research, Ariel has as much right to university status as the U of Haifa. I suspect many of the university presidents who opposed the new status were just afraid it would result in lower budgets for their own institutions. No doubt some were also expressing their own hostility to Jews living over the Green Line, as evidenced by their threats to boycott Ariel if it were granted university status.
Jordan foreign minister says to speak with Kerry on Israel-Palestinian conflict (Reuters)
from the article: 'Ariel University' wins vote, goes to IDF for final approval