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(From Jerusalem Post)
Byline: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
For most of his professional career as a Hadassah- University Hospital physician and expert in the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases, Prof. Daniel Shouval has worked one-on-one with a patient and, at most, his or her family. Now, as dean of the Hebrew University Medical Faculty in Jerusalem, he has 440 lecturers through professors with voting privileges looking over his shoulder, and he looks for consensus rather than making up his mind unilaterally. Without it, he says, the boldest and best decisions would never be implemented.
"The age of 'dictatorship' has passed. I can use veto power, but one has to use it only rarely," he says in his first interview as dean with The Jerusalem Post.
But Shouval, who turns 60 next month, never sought the academic position; he was catapulted into it following the tragic death of Prof. Ya'acov Matzner, a world-renowned hematologist, in a Swiss plane crash last November while returning from an international medical conference in Germany.
Many colleagues urged Shouval to run for the dean's position, which is responsible for the faculty's five professional schools - medicine, nursing, public health and community medicine, occupational therapy and pharmacy. A search committee approved Shouval and Prof. Yisrael Steiner, a senior neurologist at Hadassah-University Hospital on Mount Scopus, to compete against each other in mid-February.
Shouval found he had to run a political-style election campaign, presenting a platform and meeting in groups and individually with the 440 people from the five schools (the medical school is overrepresented because of the high number of staffers with senior academic …