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Credit: Jesse Zhang

With Penn President Liz Magill's resignation announcement, she will become the first Penn president to step down beyond government appointment. 

She was nominated as Penn’s ninth president in January 2022, began her tenure on July 1, 2022, and was formally inaugurated in October 2022. Magill's tenure will also likely be the shortest of any permanent Penn president.

Per the Penn Faculty Handbook, “When it becomes necessary to elect a new President, the Chair of the Board of Trustees shall convene a Consultative Committee, composed of trustees, deans, faculty, staff, and students, to advise in the selection process.” The chair is also responsible for creating a search committee.

A final candidate is then brought forth by the Executive Committee to be voted on by the full board. A candidate must receive an affirmative vote from two-thirds of the trustees to be elected president.

Here are the most recent Penn presidents by length of their tenure: 

Liz Magill (July 2022-Dec. 2023) — 526 days 

Amy Gutmann (2004-2022) — 18 years

Judith Rodin (1994-2004) — 10 years

Francis Sheldon Hackney (1981-1993) — 12 years

Martin Meyerson (1970-1981) — 11 years

Gayllord Probasco Harnwell (1953-1970) — 17 years

Harold Edwrad Stassen (1948-1953) — 5 years

George William McClelland (1944-1948) — 4 years

Thomas Sovereign Gates (1930-1944) — 14 years

Prior to 1930, provosts were the top leadership position at Penn.

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