UPenn President Resigns Amid Antisemitism Controversy

The president of the University of Pennsylvania resigned this week less than a week after testifying on Capitol Hill about antisemitism concerns on campus. The exit of President Liz Magill also comes as Congressional Republicans investigate allegations of antisemitism on several prominent college campuses.

UPenn Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok issued a statement confirming that Magill “voluntarily tendered her resignation” but will remain on staff as a tenured member of the faculty.

The college announced that it would “be in touch in the coming days to share plans for interim leadership.” Magill will remain as interim president in the transition.

The outgoing president said in a statement that it was a “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 testified before Congress this week to discuss concerns about growing antisemitism across different colleges. She was joined by the presidents of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During her testimony, she did not make a significant condemnation of antisemitism. When asked by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) about whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violated the college’s rules or code of conduct, Magill said that it was a “context-dependent decision.”

“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes,” she said. Stefanik called the answer “unacceptable.”

When asked again, Magill said that it “can be harassment.”

The resignation came just one day after it was revealed that the college itself requested that Magill step down.

The outgoing president’s comments were poorly received. Large donor Ross Stevens announced that he was rescinding a $100 million gift to the college.

The CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management wrote that he and his company were “appalled by the University’s stance on antisemitism on campus.” The letter further read that the college’s “permissive approach to hate speech calling for violence against Jews and laissez-faire attitude toward harassment and discrimination against Jewish students would violate any policies of rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on religion, including those of Stone Ridge.”