PHILADELPHIA (Diya TV) – Liz Magill, President of the University of Pennsylvania, stepped down from her position just days after facing intense criticism for her congressional testimony on antisemitism. The decision was announced by Scott Bok, the university’s board of trustees chair, who also submitted his resignation. Julie Platt, vice chair of the board, has been named interim chair.

Magill, who took office a year and a half ago, faced scrutiny following her testimony alongside presidents of Harvard and MIT. The three leaders were questioned about their response to antisemitism on their campuses, particularly regarding the university’s code of conduct in cases of advocating harm towards specific groups.

The controversy deepened when Magill failed to provide a clear yes-or-no response to whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violated the university’s code of conduct. The ambiguous answer triggered a backlash from students, faculty, and donors.

In response to the growing calls for her resignation, Magill voluntarily stepped down. Bok emphasized Magill’s positive qualities, stating that she was “not the slightest bit antisemitic” and that her resignation was a result of being “worn down by months of relentless external attacks.”

The board of trustees named Julie Platt as interim chair and plans to provide details about interim leadership in the coming days. Magill will continue as a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law School.

The controversy over Magill’s leadership had been brewing for months, including prior criticism for inviting speakers with a history of antisemitic comments to an on-campus event. The recent congressional testimony acted as a catalyst, leading to widespread calls for her resignation from students, alumni, and prominent figures.

The aftermath of Magill’s resignation also prompted the resignation of Scott Bok, who acknowledged that his departure was the right time for him. 

UPenn has also come under scrutiny for being the primary host of the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference in 2021, a virtual effort that was streamed by Diya TV. Diya TV received a copyright takedown notice from UPenn’s legal counsel, taking claim as the owner of this content that many experts say was Hinduphobic and anti-India in nature.