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 December 10, 2023

UPenn president resigns after antisemitism controversy

Lis Magill has stepped down from her position as president of the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Business reports

This comes after the backlash that resulted from her recent congressional testimony. The backlash was caused by Magill's refusal, before Congress, to condemn on-campus calls for the genocide of Jews.

Magill subsequently attempted to walk back the comments that she made before Congress. But, it has been to no avail.

The presidents of MIT and Harvard are also tied up in this controversy, as they also testified before Congress alongside Magill and they also refused to outright condemn calls on their campuses for the genocide of the Jewish people. But, for now, they have managed to hold on to their jobs.

Magill, on the other hand, tendered her resignation on Saturday.

University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Chairman Scott L. Bok wrote in a statement:

I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law.

Magill also released a statement of her own, writing:

It has been my privilege to serve as President of this remarkable institution. It has been an honor to work with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to advance Penn’s vital missions.

Magill will continue as president until an interim president is selected. And, as stated, she will keep her teaching position.

Magill did not get into any specifics about why she finally decided to resign.

It was widely reported, before her resignation, that Ross Stevens - one of the University of Pennsylvania's big donors - took back a $100 million gift that he made to the school in response to Magill's congressional testimony. Chances are that this played some role in her decision to resign.

Not long after Magill's resignation, the University of Pennsylvania announced that Bok has also decided to resign.

Bok released a statement, saying:

Today, following the resignation of the University of Pennsylvania’s President and related Board of Trustee meetings, I submitted my resignation as Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, effective immediately. While I was asked to remain in that role for the remainder of my term in order to help with the presidential transition, I concluded that, for me, now was the right time to depart.

It would appear that the University of Pennsylvania has essentially decided to clean house.

The question now is whether the presidents of Harvard and MIT will face a similar fate.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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