“I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania,” Bok, Chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees, wrote in a letter to the Penn community.
After her exit, Bok also announced he would be stepping down effective immediately and that he declined to stay and help with the presidential transition.
“The world should know that Liz Magill is a very good person and a talented leader who was beloved by her team. She is not the slightest bit antisemitic,” Bok said in a statement. “Working with her was one of the great pleasures of my life. 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.”
Bok said Magill will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn’s Carey Law School.
In the hearing, Magill got in an exchange with New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik about whether calling for the genocide of Jewish people violates the Ivy League university’s code of conduct.
“If it is directed and severe and pervasive, it is harassment,” Magill said.
“So the answer is yes?” Stefanik replied.
“It is a context-dependent decision, Congresswoman,” Magill answered.
The comments led to a protest outside of Magill’s office, where some demanded she step down. Magill later tried to clarify the testimony in a video statement.
“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.
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.…
Jon Huntsman, a Penn alum, former U.S. Ambassador to China and the namesake of Penn’s Huntsman Hall, also called for Penn’s board to remove Magill in a statement to CNN.
The Wharton Board of Advisors, which includes several prominent business leaders like billionaire sports team owner Josh Harris, Blackstone executive David Blitzer and Scott Mills, the CEO of BET, had also called for her resignation.
Who is Liz Magill? Ousted Penn President’s career leading up to time with Ivy League school
According to her bio on the university website, Magill is a legal scholar published in several top law publications.
She previously served as executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia. Before that, she was a professor and Dean at Stanford Law School.
Magill is a native of Fargo, North Dakota. She got a bachelor’s degree in history at Yale in 1988 before working as a legislative assistant for North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad for four years. She then left Capitol Hill for the University of Virginia’s law school. After graduating law school, Magill worked as a clerk for a federal appellate judge and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.