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Penn President Liz Magill testifying before Congress on Dec. 5.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

This story is developing and will continue to be updated.

Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m.:

Penn President Liz Magill will resign, according to an email sent to the Penn community around 4:30 p.m. today. 

“It has been my privilege to serve as President of this remarkable institution," Magill wrote in a statement. "It has been an honor to work with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to advance Penn’s vital missions.”

Magill will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law, according to the email.

Dec. 9 at 11:49 a.m.:

Top Penn Medicine administrators and the dean of the Graduate School of Education denounced calls for genocide as a form of hate following unprecedented levels of scrutiny after Penn President Liz Magill's congressional hearing.

Read more here.

Dec. 8 at 4:30 p.m.:

1970 College graduate and former Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck is calling for Penn President Liz Magill’s removal, according to a letter obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Pottruck, a 1972 Wharton MBA graduate and the namesake of the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, organized a letter sent to University Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok on Friday along with 16 members of the board of advisors of Penn’s Grapplers’ Club, which describes itself as “oldest collegiate wrestling alumni program in the country.”

“We fully recognize the right to free speech is core to the US Constitution but there is simply no place in the Penn community for anyone advocating genocide and murder,” the alumni wrote, later adding: "Respectfully, we believe a change in leadership is required and support the sentiments expressed in the letter the Wharton Board of Advisors addressed to President Magill.”

Pottruck, a former Penn wrestler, football player, and member of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame, has donated over $7 million to Penn.

Dec. 8 at 4:27 p.m.:

A letter signed by more than 70 United States representatives demanded the removal of the Penn, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presidents.

As first reported by Reuters, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y) and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) urged each school’s board to remove their respective presidents due to their comments at Tuesday’s congressional hearing on antisemitism. The letter, which was signed by 71 Republicans and three Democrats, called the failure to remove the presidents “an act of complicity in their antisemitic posture.”

“Testimony provided by presidents of your institutions showed a complete absence of moral clarity and illuminated the problematic double standards and dehumanization of the Jewish communities that your university presidents enabled,” the letter said.

Other notable signatories of the letter include House of Representatives Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). 

The three presidents have been criticized for their responses during the Dec. 5 hearing. Penn President Liz Magill said it was “context dependent” when Stefanik asked if whether individuals calling for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s code of conduct — describing calls for "Intifada revolution" among some protesters on campus as calls for genocide of Jewish people.

“Given this moment of crisis, we demand that your boards immediately remove each of these presidents from their positions and that you provide an actionable plan to ensure that Jewish and Israeli students, teachers,  and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the letter said.

Magill announced the University's antisemitism action plan on Nov. 1, and it garnered support and skepticism from members of the Penn community, with some saying that the plan does not provide enough support to either Jewish or Palestinian communities on campus.

Thirteen House Democrats — including Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Ranking Member of  the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) — sent a separate letter to the boards of Penn, Harvard, and MIT criticizing Magill, Harvard President Claudine Gay, and MIT President Sally Kornbluth’s testimony, specifically citing their failure to condemn calls for the genocide of Jewish people.

“In light of this, we are compelled to ask whether the testimony provided by your university presidents align with the values and policies of your respective institutions,” the signees wrote. “The leadership of top universities plays a pivotal role in shaping the moral compass of our future leaders.”

The University's "Free Speech FAQs" detail Penn's guidelines governing hate speech. These rules state that speech can only be disciplined by the University if "the inflammatory speech intentionally and effectively provokes a crowd to immediately carry out violent and unlawful action."

The letter specifically cited Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  which prohibits discrimination based upon nationality or ethnic heritage. Title VI has previously been the grounds for lawsuits against the University by the Brandeis Center and two undergraduate students.

“Given this moment of crisis, we ask you to review and update your school policies and codes of conduct to ensure that they protect students from hate, and detail what action steps you are taking to combat antisemitism and to ensure Jewish and Israeli students, teachers, and faculty are safe on your campuses,” the letter said. “This problem is urgent and we request a swift and comprehensive response.”

Dec. 8 at 3:19 p.m.:

Multiple Pennsylvania state senators are withholding their votes to fund the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine until Penn President Liz Magill resigns, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Penn Vet has received funding since 1889 and is the only state veterinary school. While the Pennsylvania House approved funding for Penn Vet, two thirds of the state Senate must also vote to approve the funding.

Pennsylvania State Senator and 1992 Penn Carey Law graduate Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks), who previously called for Magill’s resignation, told The Daily Pennsylvanian that it is “very possible” that there are enough votes to prevent the funding.

“In this circumstance, it’s really important that we make our feelings known,” Santarsiero said. “And I think the best way to do that is to hold back funding until the University does the right thing which I think is changing course and hiring a new president.”

State Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) told the Inquirer that she would “not vote to fund this institution” until Magill resigns.

Representatives from Penn Vet did not respond to a request for comment.

Dec. 8 at 3:06 p.m.:

CEO Emeritus of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center Susan Abrams and CEO of Holocaust Museum LA Beth Kean — both Penn alumni — sent a letter to President Liz Magill on Dec. 7 expressing “grave concern” about her congressional testimony and antisemitism on Penn’s campus and calling for her resignation.

Magill’s responses during the testimony, specifically during her exchange with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), were “devastating and dehumanizing,” 1986 College and Engineering graduate Abrams and 1989 College graduate Kean wrote in a letter obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian.

“You, as a University President, with a global stage … had a pivotal moment,” they wrote. “When asked a very simple, straightforward question, you waffled, invoked context, and let demons win this round. That is…the opposite of the leadership we expect of a University of Pennsylvania president.”

Abrams and Kean wrote that they believe “it would be in the best interest of the Penn community” for Magill to “resign and let another pick up these broken pieces.”

Dec. 8 at 1:45 p.m.:

The University Board of Trustees will meet on Sunday at 5 p.m. according to an email from board Chair Scott Bok obtained and first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I hear many of you as to the urgency of this process,” Bok wrote in the email. “But what I am hearing from everyone is that more people want input on both the tactical questions regarding next steps and the drafting of documents.”

In the email, Bok expressed the importance of getting this process “right” and done in a way that “everyone ultimately feels good about.”

Bok also said that the Board’s Executive Committee met for five hours on Thursday to look at next steps. 

The email implies that the committee has decided that a statement would come from Magill and be endorsed by the Executive Committee.

“Liz is busy updating that document right now,” the email said.

“…It's clear to me based on much input received since these updates that the full Board wants the opportunity for additional input on both this and on an additional statement that would be explicitly from the full Board.”

Magill has not yet released a statement, and it remains unclear as to what the contents of any potential statement would be.

The Board of Trustees held an emergency virtual gathering yesterday at 9 a.m. as the University continues to deal with widespread criticism of Magill’s Congressional testimony. During the hearing on Dec. 5, Magill said it was "context dependent" when asked by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as to whether individuals calling for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s code of conduct. 

Magill has continued faced widespread criticism as a result, including from alumni, students, politicians and donors.It remains unclear who would take over as interim president in the event that Magill resigns.

Dec. 8 at 12:00 p.m.

Between six and eight trustees told Penn President Liz Magill at the emergency trustees gathering Thursday that while the Board of Trustees were not calling for Magill's resignation, she should think "long and hard" about whether she can function in her role effectively, one source who was at the gathering told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

"If the answer is you can't [function], we need to know that, and you ought to resign," the trustees allegedly told Magill, according to the source.

A meeting of the trustees is now scheduled for Sunday, according to the source, who also estimated that there were approximately a dozen "explicit calls" for Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok to step down. Bok extended a previously scheduled meeting of the trustees for next Thursday from one to two hours, although he did not foresee how a decision on Magill's future could be made before then, the source said.

A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Previously, in October, multiple donors and former trustees called for Bok and Magill's joint resignation. However, after the scrutiny of Magill's recent testimony, specifically surrounding her "context-dependent" response to Rep. Elise Stefanik's (R-N.Y.) question about whether individuals who call for the genocide of Jewish people — referencing student protestors chanting "Intifada revolution" on campus — violate Penn’s policies or code of conduct, a bulk of the calls have only targeted Magill's resignation.

Dec. 8 at 12:04 a.m.:

1987 College graduate Jon Huntsman Jr. and former United States ambassador has called for the removal of Liz Magill from the Penn presidency.

“Let’s make this great institution shine once again,” Huntsman shared with CNN on Thursday evening. “We are anchored to the past until the trustees step up and completely cut ties with current leadership. Full stop.”

Previously, Huntsman told Magill that his family will halt donations to the University due to Penn's response to Palestine Writes Literature Festival and the Israel-Hamas war.

Now, Huntsman told CNN the conversation about Penn leadership is "not even debatable" and requires a change.

Dec. 7 at 8:48 p.m.:

In a letter addressed to Bok on Thursday evening, six Republican congressmembers from Pennsylvania called for Magill to be relieved of her duties as Penn’s president.

The letter, which was signed by Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), states that Magill’s “actions in front of Congress were an embarrassment to the university, its student body, and its vast network of proud alumni” and an “utter disgrace to our commonwealth and the entire nation."

Earlier on Thursday, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that she agrees with calls for the presidents of Penn, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to resign, according to CNN.

Their statements were abhorrent,” Gillibrand told Fox News.

When asked if the college presidents should resign, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told CNBC that “if you can’t lead, if you can’t stand up and say what’s right and wrong — very much in the extreme cases, and these are the extreme cases — then you’ve got a problem.”

“Advocating for genocide is fundamentally wrong, full-stop,” Warren said. “We just can’t have this.”

Dec. 7 at 6:31 p.m.:

The Wharton Board of Advisors is calling on the University to change leadership with "immediate effect," according to a letter to Penn President Liz Magill first obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian. Read more here.

Dec. 7 at 6:08 p.m.:

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said after a Chanukah candlelighting event at Penn Hillel that the University Board of Trustees should meet soon to “determine whether or not [Magill’s] comments reflect the views and values of the Board and of the University.” Shapiro acknowledged the Board of Trustees meeting this morning, and said that he expected the Board of Trustees to meet again in the coming days to “carefully weigh that question.”

“I want to see some real strong leadership and concrete action being taken here on campus,” Shapiro said, adding later that “this is a moment where leaders need to speak and act with moral clarity. President Magill failed that test when she was under oath in front of Congress.”

Shapiro added that he has spoken to Magill and Chairman Bok multiple times since Palestine Writes Literature Festival.

“I have given them very constructive feedback on some of the steps that I thought were important for them to take on campus to make sure that all students no matter what they look like, where they come from, who they love, or who they pray to feel safe,” Shapiro said.

Credit: Jean Park

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro visited Penn Hillel to celebrate Hanukkah on Dec. 7.

Dec. 7 at 5:41 p.m.:

"There is no board plan for imminent leadership change," a University spokesperson told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Dec. 7 at 5:39 p.m.:

According to CNN, University Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok is expected to speak with Magill today or Friday about potentially stepping down. CNN reported that Penn does not have an interim president in waiting if Magill does resign.

Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m.:

1991 Wharton graduate and Stone Ridge Holdings Group CEO Ross Stevens is withdrawing a gift to the University worth about $100 million due to Penn’s response to antisemitism on campus, Axios first reported.

Steven alleges that the University violated the anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies within the limited partnership agreement, according to correspondence acquired by Axios.

In a letter obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Stevens wrote that Penn President Liz Magill has “enabled and encouraged antisemitism” and harassment at Penn, adding that Magill’s statements at this week’s congressional hearing were “wrong.”

“Absent a change in leadership and values at Penn in the very near future, I plan to rescind Penn’s Stone Ridge shares to prevent any further reputational and other damage to Stone Ridge as a result of our relationship with Penn and Liz Magill,” he wrote.

The Wharton School announced the creation of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance in March 2019 as a new financial technology center — created with support from Stevens.

“We cannot comment on the personal decisions of our donors," a University spokesman said.

Dec. 7 at 2:57 p.m.:

Magill is still president of Penn as of the conclusion of the trustees' meeting, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, which cited multiple sources. An executive committee of the trustees held a luncheon this afternoon. A University spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether Magill would remain in her position as president. 

"As usual nothing happened," one source familiar with the gathering wrote in a message to The Daily Pennsylvanian. "None. There was an opportunity for people to state their opinions."

Dec. 7 at 1:42 p.m.:

The University Board of Trustees held an emergency gathering as Penn President Liz Magill faces criticism over the congressional hearing on Dec. 5.

The virtual gathering was held at 9 a.m., a University spokesperson told CNN. This was confirmed to The Daily Pennsylvanian by two sources familiar with the matter. After the gathering concluded midday on Thursday, the DP has not confirmed whether it was related to Magill's future at Penn.

During the hearing on Dec. 5, Magill said it was "context dependent" when asked whether individuals calling for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s code of conduct. She faced widespread criticism as a result, including from alumni, students, Penn Hillel, the White House, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, and Pennsylania's United States Senate delegation.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked whether individuals who call for the genocide of Jewish people violate Penn’s policies or code of conduct. Stefanik described calls for "Intifada revolution" among some protesters on campus as calls for genocide of Jews. 

“If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment,” Magill told Stefanik at the House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing, later adding, “It is a context-dependent decision."

The University's "Free Speech FAQs" detail Penn's guidelines governing hate speech. These rules state that speech can only be disciplined by the University if "the inflammatory speech intentionally and effectively provokes a crowd to immediately carry out violent and unlawful action."

"Universities can invest their efforts and resources in educating their members and in creating spaces and contexts for productive dialogue, but they cannot legitimately punish members — students, staff, and faculty — who choose not to participate in those, or who profess bigoted and other hateful views," Penn's policy reads. "This is especially true in open and public spaces, like Locust Walk."

Magill expressed regret for her statements in a video released Wednesday evening, pledging to evaluate Penn's policies regarding hate on campus. 

The Board of Trustees' Executive Committee meeting, originally scheduled for Dec. 7, appeared to have been canceled on Thursday. An Executive Committee luncheon is still expected to happen at 12 p.m.