Liz Magill, the president of the College of Pennsylvania, resigned on Saturday — simply days after her congressional testimony on antisemitism drew fierce backlash from college students, school and donors.
Scott Bok, the chair of the college’s board of trustees, introduced the choice in a letter to the school community. Bok additionally submitted his resignation, a college spokesperson stated.
“It has been my privilege to function President of this exceptional establishment. It has been an honor to work with our school, college students, employees, alumni, and group members to advance Penn’s very important missions,” Magill stated in a press release, in accordance with Bok’s letter.
In a separate letter obtained by the The Daily Pennsylvanian, Bok wrote: “Whereas I used to be requested to stay in that function for the rest of my time period as a way to assist with the presidential transition, I concluded that, for me, now was the precise time to depart.”
Bok added that he stands with Magill, who he described as a “good individual” and “not the slightest bit antisemitic.”
“Over ready and over lawyered given the hostile discussion board and excessive stakes, she offered a legalistic reply to an ethical query, and that was improper. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound chew in what was greater than 5 hours of testimony,” Bok stated, in accordance with The Every day Pennsylvanian.
He added that, he and Magill “concurrently” determined it was her time to step down.
Magill will keep on as interim president till a brand new individual is appointed, in accordance with Bok. Magill may even stay a tenured school member on the Penn Carey Regulation College. The college will share particulars about interim management “within the coming days,” Bok stated.
Magill’s resignation comes lower than a 12 months and a half since she was appointed as president.
On Tuesday, Magill and the presidents of Harvard and MIT testified earlier than Congress about how they’re defending college students from antisemitism on their campuses. Criticism shortly adopted round how the college presidents answered the query of whether or not “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate the college’s code of conduct.
After Magill’s feedback, six members of Congress from Pennsylvania despatched a letter to the varsity’s board of trustees calling for Magill’s resignation. Ross Stevens, a hedge fund supervisor, threatened to drag a $100 million donation from the College of Pennsylvania.
In a press release, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who heads the Home Training Committee which led the listening to, stated she authorised of Magill’s resignation.
“President Magill had three probabilities to set the file straight when requested if calling for the genocide of Jews violated UPenn’s code of conduct throughout our listening to on antisemitism. As a substitute of giving a powerful sure to the query, she selected to equivocate,” Foxx stated on Saturday.
Issues over Magill’s management has been mounting for months — even earlier than the conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out. In September, Magill was criticized for an occasion on campus which had invited audio system with a historical past of antisemitic feedback and conduct. The occasion, which centered on celebrating Palestinian tradition, was additionally scheduled to finish simply earlier than the start of Yom Kippur, a Jewish vacation.
NPR’s Sequoia Carrillo contributed reporting.