Liz Magill Resigns as President of University of Pennsylvania
There are a lot of people on the conservative side of the aisle who are very happy after a resignation was announced.
Liz Magill, one of several university presidents who made disturbing comments about the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses, has resigned.
Magill testified before Congress last week recently, stunning Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) when asked if the threats being made against Jewish students were a code of conduct violation.
Stefanik was clearly taken aback during the hearing by the responses given by the presidents of these elite schools.
For instance, when she was questioning Magill, Stefanik asked, “Calling for the genocide of Jews, does that constitute bullying or harassment?”
Magill responded, “If it is directed and severe, pervasive, it is harassment,” later adding, “It is a context-dependent decision, congresswoman.”
Stefanik shot right back, “That’s your testimony today? Calling for the genocide of Jews depending upon the context?”
Those comments led to a major donor threatening to withdraw a $100 million donation to Penn, that is unless Magill was removed from her post.
Even the White House was stunned by the comments, with spokesman Andrew Bates stating, “It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country.”
Just prior to Penn’s board meeting to discuss the issue, the chairman, Scott L. Bok, announced that Magill had “voluntarily tendered her resignation.”
Bok defended Magill, stating, “Worn down by months of relentless external attacks, she was not herself last Tuesday.
“Over-prepared and over-lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, she provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony.”
He further stated, “It became clear that her position was no longer tenable, and she and I concurrently decided that it was time for her to exit.”
Not long after that announcement, Bok also tendered his resignation.
Magill is the first of the presidents who attended the congressional hearing to resign, but she is not expected to be the last, as others made comments similar to Magill’s during the hearing.
After Magill’s resignation was announced, Stefanik stated, “One down. Two to go.
“This is only the very beginning of addressing the pervasive rot of antisemitism that has destroyed the most ‘prestigious’ higher education institutions in America. This forced resignation of the president of Penn is the bare minimum of what is required.”
The other two presidents, Harvard’s Dr. Gay and M.I.T.’s Dr. Kornbluth, have given no indication that they plan on resigning, with Kornbluth having already received a declaration of support from the school’s governing board.
However, we expect public and donor pressure to mount, and we all know money speaks when it comes to these schools.