Magill voluntarily resigned on Saturday, University of Pennsylvania board of trustees chairman Scott Bok announced in an email to the Penn community. Magill, who had held the role for only a year and a half, will stay on until an interim president can be appointed and will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn’s Carey Law School, he said.
The school’s board of trustees met by phone on Saturday evening to discuss the leadership transition, at which point Chairman Bok announced that he was stepping down, as well.
“It has been my privilege to serve as President of this remarkable institution,” Magill said in a statement. “It has been an honor to work with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to advance Penn’s vital missions.”
Said Bok in a statement regarding his own resignation: “While I was asked to remain in that role for the remainder of my term in order to help with the presidential transition, I concluded that, for me, now was the right time to depart.” The now-former board of trustees chairman, who had also faced pressure to step down amid the controversy, defended Magill in his statement, as well:
The world should know that Liz Magill is a very good person and a talented leader who was beloved by her team. She is not the slightest bit antisemitic. Working with her was one of the great pleasures of my life. Worn down by months of relentless external attacks, she was not herself last Tuesday. Over prepared and over lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, she provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony.