Amid ongoing criticism of her testimony at a congressional hearing last week regarding antisemitism on campus, Liz Magill, the president of The University of Pennsylvania resigned on Saturday. The chairman of the school’s board of trustees, Scott Bok, also resigned immediately during a trustees meeting Saturday evening.
“Following that, it became clear that her position was no longer tenable, and she and I concurrently decided that it was time for her to exit,” Bok said in a statement announcing his resignation. Magill will remain a tenured faculty member at the university’s Carey Law School. She has agreed to keep serving as Penn’s leader until the university names an interim president.
Meanwhile, more than 700 hundred Harvard faculty signed on to a letter in defense of the university’s president, Dr. Claudine Gay, as some lawmakers and alumni are calling for her resignation just months into her term.
Gay’s critics allege that she bungled Harvard’s official response to the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza and ensuing campus protests. Those calls have intensified since Gay’s testimony before Congress last week. Gay is the first Black person to lead Harvard.
Civil rights activist, the Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), condemned recent comments by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, who claimed Gay was merely hired because she met the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion criteria.
“What Bill Ackman said about Harvard’s President, that she only leads this nation’s oldest university because of DEI, is offensive. Plain and simple," said Sharpton. "We cannot allow him to get away with such inflammatory claims with no rebuttal – otherwise affirmative action will surely be dead in all forms. We are not even six months removed from the crushing Supreme Court decision, which Harvard was at the center of, that took a sledgehammer to equity in admissions. Now we have one of the richest men in America attacking a Black woman whose academic credentials are impeccable."