Credit: Daniel Xu / The Daily Pennsylvanian
President Gutmann is putting Penn first.
This afternoon, Penn President Amy Gutmann has announced that she will be pulling the University of Pennsylvania out of the Ivy League. The prestigious Ivy Group Agreement was first signed by the presidents of all seven (not counting Cornell) institutions in 1945. Moving forward, this agreement will no longer include Penn.
Earlier today, Gutmann gave an official address from the Magic Gardens on South Street, saying, "Penn has been treated so unfairly, so badly. The other universities, they're laughing at us. They won't be laughing any longer."
While this has always been a part of Gutmann's "Penn First" platform, the decision has baffled almost every other person on earth, due to its dizzying logical incoherence. The Ivy League is a long-standing academic and athletic agreement that was build to ensure rigor and a steady demand for Brooks Brothers apparel and subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal. Her upheaval of such an important and long-negotiated agreement is being met with intense and relentless criticism. Despite this, Gutmann stood firm in her decision, stating, "I was hired to represent the students of Penn, not Brown."
The process of withdrawing from the Ivy League is lengthy and experts say it will not conclude until about 2020, meaning that the Class of 2020 will not be graduating from an Ivy League university. Many incoming sophomores are responding by burning their Vineyard Vines long-sleeved shirts and refusing invitations to their father's annual yachting trip up the coast of Maine.
While it may look like the end of Penn's tenure in the Ivy League, Gutmann has also indicated that she is open to renegotiating the terms of the agreement. "We are getting out, but we will start to renegotiate. We've got to get a better deal and put Penn students first, we're getting killed out there," she digressed during her address.
However, many schools are not open to the option of renegotiation. A joint letter from Princeton, Columbia, and Yale condemned Gutmann's decision, stating that Penn can't just leave the Ivy League and then expect to be able to unilaterally renegotiate the terms. "What is she, like a fourth grader? This is playground logic," the statement reads.
Officials from Harvard were less upset. In fact, the Harvard administration indicated that they weren't even aware that there were other schools in the Ivy League to begin with. "It's really not something that's on our radar," one official told UTB.
The future of Penn and higher education is uncertain, but we can be sure that Penn will be playing a diminished role among the elite schools of the Northeast.