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Penn president, Magill, resigns after antisemitism testimony

Dec 11, 2023

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There was more fallout this weekend following the testimony of three university presidents on Capitol Hill last week over the rise of antisemitism on their campuses as the war between Israel and Hamas surpasses two months. On Saturday, Dec. 9, Liz Magill resigned as president of the University of Pennsylvania.

Magill, along with Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth, were heavily criticized by a bipartisan group of politicians for their answers.

Magill faced backlash from local lawmakers, donors, and business leaders for her response to the questions by the House committee of whether calling for the genocide of Jews violated Penn’s code of conduct. Magill answered it was a “context-dependent decision.”

In her resignation announcement, Magill said it has “been my privilege to serve as president of this remarkable institution.” She will remain a faculty member at Penn’s law school.

Shortly after Magill stepped down, Scott Bok, chair of Penn’s board of trustees, also submitted his resignation.

Speaking at an interfaith rally at a Philadelphia Synagogue on Sunday, Dec. 10, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said the “real work at the university begins now making sure that every student feels safe on campus.”

Posting on the social media platform X, GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who clashed with university presidents at the congressional hearing on antisemitism, said the forced resignation is the “bare minimum.”

“One down. Two to go,” Stefanik wrote. “This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most “prestigious” higher education institutions in America.”

Meanwhile, at least 570 faculty members at Harvard University have signed a petition asking school administrators not to fire their school’s president, Claudine Gay, despite a letter from lawmakers demanding the change. Alison Frank Johnson, a Harvard professor and co-author of the petition wrote in an email to Reuters, “We don’t want to lose her because of a political stunt.”

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MORE FALLOUT THIS WEEKEND FOLLOWING THE TESTIMONY OF THREE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS ON CAPITOL HILL LAST WEEK OVER THE RISE OF ANTISEMITISM ON THEIR CAMPUSES AS THE WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS SURPASSES TWO MONTHS.

ON SATURDAY, LIZ MAGILL (MAH-GILL) RESIGNED AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.

MAGILL – ALONG WITH HARVARD PRESIDENT CLAUDINE (CLAW-DEEN) GAY AND M-I-T PRESIDENT SALLY KORNBLUTH (CORN– BLOOTH) WERE HEAVILY CRITICIZED BY A BIPARTISAN group OF POLITICIANS FOR THEIR ANSWERS.

MAGILL FACED BACKLASH FROM LOCAL LAWMAKERS, DONORS AND BUSINESS LEADERS FOR HER RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE On WHETHER CALLING FOR THE GENOCIDE OF JEWS VIOLATED PENN’S CODE OF CONDUCT.

MAGILL ANSWERED, IT WAS A “CONTEXT-DEPENDENT DECISION.”

IN HER RESIGNATION ANNOUNCEMENT – MAGILL SAID IT HAS QUOTE “BEEN MY PRIVILEGE TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT OF THIS REMARKABLE INSTITUTION.”

SHE WILL REMAIN A FACULTY MEMBER AT PENN’S LAW SCHOOL.

SHORTLY AFTER MAGILL STEPPED DOWN  – SCOTT BOK (BAHK) – CHAIR OF PENN’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES – ALSO SUBMITTED HIS RESIGNATION.

SPEAKING AT AN INTERFAITH RALLY AT A PHILADELPHIA SYNAGOGUE SUNDAY – PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR JOSH SHAPIRO SAID THE “REAL WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY BEGINS NOW MAKING SURE THAT EVERY STUDENT FEELS SAFE ON CAMPUS.”

MEANWHILE – AT LEAST 570 FACULTY MEMBERS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY HAVE SIGNED A PETITION ASKING SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS TO **NOT FIRE THEIR SCHOOL’S PRESIDENT CLAUDINE GAY DESPITE A LETTER FROM LAWMAKERS DEMANDING THE CHANGE.

A HARVARD PROFESSOR – AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE PETITION SAID – THEY DON’T WANT TO LOSE THEIR PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF QUOTE “A POLITICAL STUNT.”