University of Pennsylvania president resigns amid backlash over Congress antisemitism testimony

University of Pennsylvania president resigns amid backlash over Congress antisemitism testimony

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, who came under fire for her stance on antisemitism on her institution's campus, has "tendered her resignation," according to a message sent on Saturday by the chair of the Ivy League school's board of trustees.

Magill was one of three presidents of top universities who were criticized after they testified at a congressional hearing about a rise in antisemitism on college campuses following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

She has agreed to stay on until an interim president is appointed, Scott Bok, chair of the Philadelphia-based university's board of trustees, said on Saturday.

"I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as president of the University of Pennsylvania. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law," Bok said.

Magill, Harvard University President Claudine Gay, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth all testified before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Tuesday.

WATCH | Ivy League presidents criticized over 'unacceptable' antisemitism answers: 

Congresswoman criticizes Ivy League presidents over 'unacceptable answers' on antisemitism

39 minutes ago

Duration 1:32

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik took issue with the answers from University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill and Harvard president Claudine Gay after asking them if calling for the genocide of Jewish people violates their schools respective policies during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on Dec. 5.

They have been criticized by their schools' Jewish communities for their handling of clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators since the Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. That attack prompted a massive counterattack by Israel.

Much of the blowback from the testimonies centred on a heated line of questioning from U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, who repeatedly asked whether "calling for the genocide of Jews" would violate each university's code of conduct.

Magill was unable to say under repeated questioning that calls on campus for the genocide of Jews would violate the school's conduct policy.

She walked back some of her own comments on Wednesday, saying she would consider a call for the genocide of Jewish people to be considered harassment or intimidation. She also said she would launch a review of Penn's policies.