University of Pennsylvania President resigns following controversial congressional testimony

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill has resigned from her position following a controversial congressional testimony that sparked widespread outrage. The resignation came after an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees on Thursday.

During her testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Magill faced questions about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities nationwide. However, her response, particularly failing to condemn an extremist call for Jewish genocide, led to public outcry.

The House Education Committee invited the leaders of MIT, Harvard, and Penn to testify in front of Congress. During their testimony, Rep. Elise Stefanik asked the educators if calling for the genocide of Jews violates the code of conduct on their campuses. Not one of the campus leaders could answer the question.

Presidents of the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and MIT smilingly say that calling for the genocide of Jews isn’t necessarily against their code against harassment and bullying on campus. Penn president Liz Magill suggested it was not a violation unless it led to actual genocide. Wow!

The incident drew attention from high-profile figures, including Ross Stevens, CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management. Stevens, a UPenn alumnus, expressed his dismay in a letter addressed to Wendy S. White, Senior Vice President & General Counsel at the University of Pennsylvania & Penn Medicine. In the letter, he announced the withdrawal of a $100 million donation initially earmarked for the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance.

Furthermore, Penn’s Wharton Business School Board of Advisors expressed their concerns in a letter to Magill and the Board of Trustees. The letter criticized the university leadership’s values and approach to student safety and reputation management, suggesting the need for immediate new leadership.

Board Chairman Scott Bok, who led the crisis meeting, was expected to have a decisive conversation with President Magill about her resignation.

Following these developments, Bok announced Magill’s resignation on Saturday in a message to the UPenn community.

“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 said in a statement.

Rep. Elise Stefanik released a statement, saying, “One down. Two to go. This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most prestigious higher education institutions in America. This forced resignation of the president of Penn is the bare minimum of what is required. These universities can anticipate a robust and comprehensive Congressional investigation of all facets of their institutions negligent perpetration of antisemitism including administrative, faculty, funding, and overall leadership and governance.”

American billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman wrote, Now the focus turns to Presidents Gay and Kornbluth and the boards of Harvard and MIT.


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