Wharton's board of advisors has called for a change in leadership at the University of Pennsylvania following criticism of Penn's president, Elizabeth Magill. Magill faced backlash for her testimony on antisemitism during a recent congressional hearing. The board sent a letter to Magill demanding that the university clarify its position on any calls for harm to any group and make immediate policy changes to address such conduct. They also called for the disciplining of any offenders. The board suggested that new leadership is needed in light of the university's stated beliefs and collective failure to act.
Pressure is also mounting on Magill, as well as the presidents of Harvard and MIT, who also testified about antisemitism on campus. They faced criticism for evading questions on whether calling for the genocide of Jews would violate their institutions' codes of conduct. Magill responded to these questions by stating that if speech turns into conduct, it can be considered harassment.
The board of trustees of the University of Pennsylvania held an emergency meeting in response to these developments. While they did not vote on whether to remove Magill from her position, the matter remains unresolved, and the board is expected to meet again in the coming days.
In addition, asset manager Ross Stevens has threatened to withdraw a donation to Penn worth approximately $100 million. In a letter, Stevens stated that he plans to rescind the donation unless there is a change in leadership and values at Penn in the near future. He expressed concern about potential damage to his company's reputation as a result of its association with Penn and Magill.
The situation at the University of Pennsylvania is still unfolding, and it remains to be seen what actions will be taken in response to the calls for leadership change and the threat of donation withdrawal.