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More than 900 UPenn faculty opposing influence by trustees, donors, after Magill resignation

More than 900 University of Pennsylvania faculty members have signed a letter protesting the influence of trustees and donors following the resignation of former president Liz McGill.

The letter, addressed to members of the Board of Trustees, said: “We oppose any attempt by the Board, donors, or other external actors to interfere in academic policy or violate academic freedom.” There is.

“Current efforts by some members of the University of Pennsylvania's broader community to reverse longstanding governance structures threaten the freedom of faculty to conduct independent, academically rigorous research and teaching.” says the letter. “Academic excellence at the University of Pennsylvania is built on decades of shared governance, in which the principles of academic freedom and open expression guide faculty members in their teaching, research, and other endeavors at the University. It plays a central role in developing policy regarding all aspects of the academic mission of the University.”

According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, the letter was circulated by the university's Faculty Senate and came after Wharton Advisory Board Chair Mark Rowan wrote an email to the board titled “Moving forward.” It is said to have been sent.

Appen President Liz McGill resigns after controversial testimony about anti-Semitism

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. (Hannah Baier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Rowan included a list of 18 questions in the email, one of which asked whether the university should consider eliminating some departments. Ta.

“What are the Board's standards for student instruction and recommendation of courses and faculty degrees?” Rowan wrote. “What are the Board’s standards for student instruction and recommendation of courses and faculty degrees?”

“What are the Board's standards for teaching students and recommending courses and faculty degrees?” he also asked.

Rowan said in an email that the university also has a “culture” issue.

“Although anti-Semitism receives the most attention, I believe it is only a symptom of a larger problem…” Rowan wrote. “A culture that has allowed anti-Semitism to take root and be accepted within UPenn, a culture that has allowed for choice rather than free speech, and a deviation from UPenn’s core mission of scholarship, research, and academic excellence. ”

Stefanik praises Appen president Liz McGill's resignation: 'One down. Two to go.

McGill at anti-Semitism hearing

University of Pennsylvania President Liz McGill during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC, USA. School board members plan to harshly criticize Harvard University's leaders. Pennsylvania State and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spoke about their response to the protests that erupted after the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. (Jiang Haiyun/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

McGill resigned days after a Dec. 5 Congressional hearing on anti-Semitism, responding to New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik's question about whether calling for a genocide of Jews was a violation. figure,[s] What are Penn's rules or code of conduct? Yes or no? “

“If speech turns into action, it can be harassment. That's right,” McGill said, later adding, “It depends on the circumstances.”

“This is unacceptable. Mr. McGill, I'll give you another chance for the world to see your answer. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn's Code of Conduct regarding bullying and harassment? Yes or No. ?'' Stefanik then asked.

The president of the University of Pennsylvania responded, “There is a possibility of harassment.''

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President Liz McGill touching her glasses

University of Pennsylvania President Liz McGill during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC, USA. School board members plan to harshly criticize Harvard University's leaders. Pennsylvania State and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spoke about their response to the protests that erupted after the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. (Jiang Haiyun/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

McGill later retract her comment In a video posted to X on Wednesday night.

“There was a moment yesterday during a Congressional hearing on anti-Semitism when I was asked whether calls for the slaughter of Jews on campus violated university policy. “It focused on the university's long-standing policy, which says the Constitution says speech alone is not punishable,” McGill said. “I did not take note of, but I should have, the irrefutable fact that the call for genocide of the Jews is a call to some of the most horrific violence human beings can commit.”

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