President of Upenn Resigns Amid Backlash Over Congressional Hearing

By Matis Glenn

President of the University of Pennsylvania Liz Magill announced her resignation Saturday, amid calls for her ouster after not clearly stating that calls for the genocide of Jews would not be permitted on her college’s campus.

School donors and elected officials nationwide, along with Jewish organizations condemned the tepid responses of Magill and the heads of Ivy League schools MIT and Harvard last week, when none of them stated – under repeated questioning – that it was a violation of school rules to call for the genocide of Jews, saying that it depended on the “context” and if the speech was targeting individual students. Pro-Palestinian protests erupted at college campuses around the country after the Hamas terror group committed the worst terror attack in Israel’s history on October 7.

Common refrains heard at these protests include “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” and “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” which are widely seen as calls for violence and genocide.

Magill issued a clarification in a post to social media the day after the hearing, but did not say that calls for genocide of Jews would be a violation of school rules.

“There was a moment during yesterday’s congressional hearing on antisemitism when I was asked if a call for the genocide of Jewish people on our campus would violate our policies,” Magill wrote. “In that moment, I was focused on our university’s long-standing policies aligned with the U.S. Constitution, which says that speech alone is not punishable. I was not focused on, but I should have been, on 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.”

Following Magill’s resignation announcement, UPenn’s Board of Trustees Chairman Scott Bok said he would step down too, according to NBC.

“One down. Two to go,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said following the announcement. At the hearing, Stefanik grilled the university heads on the issue of students calling for genocide of Jews.

“This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most ‘prestigious’ higher education institutions in America,” she continued.

More than 70 lawmakers called on the three presidents to resign following the hearing.

“Given this moment of crisis, we demand that your boards immediately remove each of these presidents from their positions and that you provide an actionable plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, teachers, and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the lawmakers wrote. “The university presidents’ responses to questions aimed at addressing the growing trend of antisemitism on college and university campuses were abhorrent.”

Virginia Foxx (R-N.C), the House Education and the Workforce Chair, who held the hearing, “welcomed” Magill’s resignation.

“President Magill had three chances to set the record straight when asked if calling for the genocide of Jews violated UPenn’s code of conduct during our hearing on antisemitism,” Foxx said in a statement. “Instead of giving a resounding yes to the question, she chose to equivocate.”

According to a statement released by UPenn, Magill will remain a tenured faculty member at the university’s Carey Law School. She has also agreed to remain president until the university names an interim replacement.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!