OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:18 AM – Monday, December 11, 2023
University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill has resigned from her position after receiving severe backlash from the White House, lawmakers, and alumni for avoiding questions at a congressional hearing addressing anti-Semitism campus.
On Saturday, Scott Bok, the chair of the Penn Board of Trustees, shared the decision in a letter to the school community.
“I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania,” Bok wrote in the message to the Penn community on Saturday. “She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law.”
Briefly after Bok disclosed the news about Magill’s resignation, he revealed that he is resigning from his position as well, according to a statement published by the Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper.
“I concluded that, for me, now was the right time to depart,” Bok said in the statement.
Additionally, according to Bok’s letter, Magill made a statement regarding her resignation, mentioning that it was an honor to work with the school affiliates to help grow Penn’s important missions.
“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 the statement, according to Bok’s letter.
On Tuesday, Magill, along with her colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, faced intense questioning at a House hearing that pertained to their responses addressing the surge in anti-Semitic hate that has occurred since October 7th.
The three university leaders denounced anti-Semitism in their testimonies. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) sparked a heated discussion during which she questioned whether it would be against each school’s code of conduct to “call for the genocide of Jews.” This sparked the outcry.
Instead of responding to Stefanik’s simple question, Magill stated that the decision would be “context-dependent.”
“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” she said.
In the letter, Bok announced that Magill “made a very unfortunate misstep” in her testimony, but acknowledged her leadership qualities. He asserted that she was “not the slightest bit anti-Semitic.”
Additionally, he went on to say that Magill was “worn down by months of relentless external attacks” and “provided a legalistic answer to a moral question,” which led to a “dreadful 30-second sound bite.”
In a two-minute video message that was uploaded on the social media site X, the site previously known as Twitter, on Wednesday night, Magill clarified her response and categorically denounced calls for the extermination of Jews.
“I was not focused on, but I should have been, the irrefutable fact that a call for genocide of Jewish people is a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate,” Magill said in the video. “It’s evil, plain and simple.”
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