American Vice Chancellors Resign After Antisemitism Backlash


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

The president of an Ivy League university stepped down Saturday, in the wake of a firestorm of criticism after a congressional hearing on the rise in anti-Semitism on US campuses. University of Pennsylvania President Elizabeth Magill “voluntarily tendered her resignation,” the chair of the university’s board of trustees Scott Bok announced. Bok then stepped down himself.

Magill was among three presidents of elite universities who faced withering critism for their testimony Tuesday during a congressional hearing on campus anti-Semitism. The trio gave long-winded, lawyerly and seemingly evasive answers at the hearing when asked whether students who call for the “genocide of Jews” on their campuses violate codes of student conduct. Blowback was rapid and intense.

74 lawmakers wrote letters demanding the immediate removal of Magill and the presidents of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, apologized afterward for failing to more strongly condemn threats of anti-Semitic violence on her campus.

Magill faced even more scathing criticism. Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor called her performance “absolutely shameful,” and a major donor said he would rescind a $100 million donation to the university’s Wharton School of Business.

Anti-Semitism and hate crimes have risen in the United States and on university campuses since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants and the ensuing war in Gaza. With passions inflamed on campuses, a broader debate has taken place about when freedom of speech on campuses turns into conduct that threatens others.

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