The board of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school is pushing for President Liz Magill’s resignation after she refused to categorize calls for the genocide of Jews as hate speech.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) December 8, 2023
During a Dec. 5 testimony before the Committee on Education & the Workforce, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked whether students who call for the genocide of Jewish people violate the school’s policies or code of conduct.
However, Magill responded that it can only be harassment “if the speech turns into conduct.”
Even when Stefanik called out the flaw in the perspective, she stuck to her belief that “it is a context-dependent decision.”
The hearing, which also featured the presidents of Harvard University and MIT, would later draw heavy backlash, with the White House and politicians condemning the presidents’ response. According to the Daily Mail, Penn also took a financial hit as an alumnus withdrew a $100 million donation to the school.
While the House Education Committee is still investigating the issue, the board of Wharton wants Magill gone now. A letter addressed to her read, “As a result of the University leadership’s stated beliefs and collective failure to act, our Board respectfully suggests to you and the Board of Trustees that the University requires new leadership with immediate eﬀect.”
“As confirmed in your congressional testimony yesterday, the leadership of the University does not share the values of our Board. Nor does it appear to understand the urgency to address the safety of our students on campus and the ongoing reputational damage to the University by the University’s policies and actions,” the letter also read.
The board’s call for Magill’s resignation comes after she released a video on Wednesday to try to explain away her failure to condemn Jewish genocidal calls in Penn. According to her, she was “focused” on the school’s policies and the U.S. constitution when she gave her response at the hearing.
“There was a moment during yesterday’s Congressional hearing on antisemitism when I was asked if a call for the genocide of Jewish people on our campus would violate our policies. In that moment, I was focused on our university’s long-standing policies – aligned with the U.S. Constitution – which say that speech alone is not punishable,” she stated.
She further denounced calls for Jewish genocide as “a call for some of the most terrible violence human beings can perpetrate,” adding that it is “evil, plain and simple.”