- Penn’s president has resigned after backlash over her congressional testimony on antisemitism.
- Elizabeth Magill confronted calls to resign from donors and the board of Wharton, Penn’s enterprise college.
- Magill has been president of Penn since mid-2022.
Elizabeth Magill, the president of the University of Pennsylvania, is stepping down following months of rising tensions on campus and amongst alumni. Her resignation is efficient instantly, in keeping with an electronic mail despatched to the Penn neighborhood at present.
Scott Bok, the chair of Penn’s board of trustees, may even be stepping down, in keeping with the varsity’s newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Magill has been the topic of complaints from donors, alumni, and college students for her reactions to the October 7 assaults on Israel and incidents of antisemitism, or purported antisemitism, on campus.
The criticisms escalated when Magill evaded a query throughout a December 5 congressional listening to on whether or not calling for Jewish genocide violated college coverage.
Following the listening to, the board of Wharton, Penn’s enterprise college, referred to as on Magill to resign. Separately, Penn’s board of trustees met Thursday, and scheduled a second assembly on Sunday, the varsity’s paper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, reported.
Magill’s troubles began earlier than the October 7 assaults by Hamas.
In September, college students and alumni signed an open letter to the president condemning the varsity’s Palestine Writes Literary Festival, which they mentioned platformed audio system with histories of antisemitism. (Organizers of the competition denied that anybody concerned embraces antisemitic concepts).
The letter was signed by 4,000 folks and accused the varsity of not denouncing antisemitism on the competition.
Among the signatories have been billionaires Ronald Lauder and Apollo CEO Marc Rowan, each alumni and megadonors of the varsity.
That incident acquired additional scrutiny following the Hamas terrorist assaults — together with from donors like Rowan.
He was the primary main donor to publicly name for Magill’s resignation. The non-public fairness billionaire, who together with his spouse donated $50 million to Penn in 2018, urged alumni in October to “close their checkbooks” till the college’s management resigned.
Quite a lot of different rich donors adopted, some threatening to drag donations until Magill — whose job, partly, is to fundraise for the varsity — resigned. Others halted donations completely.
“Law and Order” creator Dick Wolf, who funded Penn’s Wolf Humanities Center, endorsed Rowan’s message in an announcement to Penn’s scholar newspaper. And the Huntsman household introduced it might halt its donations to the varsity, as did hedge fund supervisor David Magerman.
Lauder, who had a number of instances requested that Magill cancel the literary competition, mentioned he’d cease donations to the varsity if it did not take a stronger stance in opposition to antisemitism.
Magill, who has been president of Penn since mid-2022, responded to the backlash with a collection of statements.
“The University did not, and emphatically does not, endorse these speakers or their views,” she wrote in a single electronic mail to the Penn neighborhood, admitting her mistake. “While we did communicate, we should have moved faster to share our position strongly and more broadly with the Penn community.”
While backlash quieted down by mid-November they have been reignited earlier this week following Magill’s congressional testimony, which was slammed by the White House, members of congress, and enterprise leaders — together with rich alumni.
Clifford Asness, the cofounder of cash administration fund AQR Capital who had beforehand introduced he would halt donations, criticized the remarks of Elizabeth Magill, Penn’s president. In October, the to his alma mater following its response to the October 7 assaults on Israel.
“The presidents are flat out evil and deeply mediocre. They aren’t even good at hiding their evil. Maybe they just don’t care. I wish I could quit giving twice,” he wrote on X, together with a clip of the listening to.
Elon Musk, a Penn alum who himself has been criticized for trumpeting antisemitic theories, referred to as the schools “shameful.”
Following widespread criticism, Magill walked again her feedback, however the stress has continued.
Wall Street CEO Ross Stevens threatened to drag an current $100 million present if Penn’s management didn’t change. And members of Pennsylvania’s state senate mentioned they’d not vote to fund the college’s veterinary college till Magill resigned, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Wharton’s board, which is chaired by Rowan, referred to as on Magill to step down.