A four-member delegation from the University of North Florida is setting out to forge a partnership with the University of Haifa during Gov. Ron DeSantis’ week-long business trip to Israel.
The UNF representatives are among almost 100 government officials, business, academic, and religious leaders traveling with DeSantis. The UNF representatives departed Saturday for Israel.
Associate Provost and Biology Professor Dan Moon is one of them. He said after being contacted by the governor to participate, UNF was tasked with identifying possible areas of collaboration with an Israeli University.
“University of Haifa and University of North Florida saw an opportunity for our two institutions to work together, and then set up the signing of an MOU [memorandum of understanding],” he said.
Moon will be joined by Vice President of Government Affairs Heather Duncan, Chair of Construction Management Mag Malek, and Lecturer Jamie Moon.
The team is identifying ways for the two public universities work together in the areas of construction and coastal engineering, according to Moon.
“What we want to do is create some opportunities that will allow us to exchange faculty members and scholars, collaborate on joint research projects, maybe execute some joint study abroad programs, student exchange programs,” he said.
DeSantis on Thursday released the itinerary for the ‘Business Development Mission to Israel’, which includes the 2019 Israeli-American Business Summit and meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli top officials. DeSantis is also expected to sign House Bill 741 while in Israel, which is intended to combat anti-Semitism in Florida by adding religion as a protected class in the state's education system.
The Florida Channel, the state-funded public affairs network, intends to have a crew in Israel to cover DeSantis and state Cabinet members as they meet overseas. The Florida Channel airs on WJCT Channel 7.4.
The trip will will be centered in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but said Moon members of the delegation will travel outside of those areas.
“I know some of my colleagues will be traveling to different parts of Israel to have those meetings,” he said. “In some cases, we've got partners from around Israel traveling to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to meet with members of the delegation.”
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct a name, title, and photo identification that appeared in an earlier version.
Contact Abukar Adan at 904-358-6319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @abukaradan17