Dec 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Penn names interim president after Liz Magill's resignation

The University of Pennsylvania on Dec. 8. Photo: Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The University of Pennsylvania named an interim president Tuesday after predecessor Liz Magill resigned amid pressure over her widely criticized congressional testimony on antisemitism.

Driving the news: Dr. J. Larry Jameson, dean of the university's medical school and the longest-serving current dean at Penn, will take the position effective immediately, the board of trustees announced.

  • "Dr. Jameson has a deep appreciation for Penn's values and world-class research, teaching, patient care, and service," the board said in a statement.

Catch up quick: Magill stepped down on Saturday after university officials, donors and alumni called on her to do so following her testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Dec. 5.

  • Magill, along with MIT President Sally Kornbluth and Harvard University President Claudine Gay, defended their responses to incidents of antisemitism on their campuses.
  • Pressed about whether calls for the genocide of Jews would violate the university code of conduct or rules on bullying and harassment, Magill said such speech would violate the school's code of conduct "if the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment. Yes."
  • When pressed further, she said, "it is a context-dependent decision."

Of note: Following Magill's resignation, Scott Bok also resigned as chairman of Penn's board of trustees.

  • Julie Beren Platt was named interim chair of the board.

Go deeper: Harvard board says president will stay on amid antisemitism controversy

Go deeper