Board of Trustees Urges University President to Consider Resignation
In a strongly worded letter, the Board of Trustees at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has called on University President, Amy Gutmann Magill, to contemplate her ability to effectively address the growing concerns of antisemitism on campus. The letter highlights the board’s belief that Magill’s inaction and vague statements have contributed to a climate of fear among students and the wider community.
Emergency Meeting Scheduled
The UPenn Board of Trustees has scheduled an emergency meeting to address the escalating situation. This meeting follows a previous gathering last Thursday, in which several members of the board expressed their concerns directly to Magill. Although the trustees stopped short of explicitly demanding her resignation, they emphasized the need for her to carefully consider her position.
The university is also facing financial repercussions due to its handling of the issue. Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, has decided to withdraw a substantial donation of approximately $100 million that was intended to support the establishment of a financial innovation center. Stevens and his company have expressed their disappointment with the university’s stance on antisemitism.
Congressional Hearing Fallout
The backlash against Magill intensified following a recent Congressional hearing, during which she provided a non-committal response to questions regarding the university’s policies on hate speech and conduct. When asked if advocating for the genocide of Jews violated the university’s code of conduct, Magill’s initial response failed to address the gravity of the issue. This response drew strong criticism from Republican Representative Elise Stefanik.
Magill later released a video clarifying her stance, acknowledging her failure to fully consider the implications of advocating for genocide. She emphasized that while speech alone is not punishable, calling for the genocide of any group represents an abhorrent and inexcusable act of violence.
The University of Pennsylvania now faces a critical juncture as it grapples with the consequences of its handling of antisemitism on campus. The upcoming board meeting will prove pivotal in determining the future course of action for addressing these deeply concerning issues.