Charlotte Tyler
December 9, 2023

Penn board members advise president to 'resign' if she can't perform properly

In a message posted on X, formerly Twitter by the president of the University of Pennsylvania responded to the criticism she received for her words on anti-Semitic speech on campus.

According to reports, members of the Board of Trustees at Penn have requested that the school's president, Liz Magill, step down from her position if she is unable to successfully carry out her duties, as Fox News reported.

This comes after she received criticism for her remarks regarding antisemitism that she made during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

During the emergency meeting of the board that took place on Thursday, a source informed the Daily Pennsylvanian that somewhere between six and eight members of the board warned Magill that she should give it "long and hard" consideration as to whether or not she is capable of performing her duties as president of the institution appropriately.

Another Accounting of Events

However, according to the story, another source stated that the board of trustees did not make a direct request for Magill to quit her position.

"If the answer is you can't [function], we need to know that, and you ought to resign," the trustees told Magill, according to the outlet's source.

A meeting of the board is currently planned to take place on Sunday, according to the outlet. In addition, the chair of the Board of Trustees, Scott Bok, increased the duration of a meeting that was originally planned to take place on Dec. 14 from one hour to two hours.

The Comments in Question

The comments in question were made by Magill during a congressional hearing on antisemitism on Tuesday, and generated a heated backlash after she did not provide a direct answer to a question posed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

Stefanik asked whether "calling for the genocide of Jews violate[s] Penn’s rules or code of conduct? Yes or no?" Magill did not at the time provide an answer to the question.

The university brass eventually gave a non-answer to the New York Republican's question: "If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes," Magill responded, later adding, "It is a context-dependent decision."

Stefanik drilled down, saying "This is unacceptable. Ms. Magill, I’m gonna give you one more opportunity for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct when it comes to bullying and harassment? Yes or no?" Stefanik then asked.

"It can be harassment," the University of Pennsylvania president responded. Magill would later walk back her comments in a video posted to X on Wednesday evening.

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