The Ivy League school’s board of trustees has an emergency meeting scheduled as the crisis over tensions sparked by the Israel-Hamas war deepens on its campus—and on others across the nation.
The Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper reports that the trustees, who already met last week, will deliberate as yet another big donor to the school has spoken out against Magill.
Former Charles Schwab CEO David Pottruck, a 197src grad whose name is on the health and fitness center, organized a letter from other alumni calling for Magill to go.
“We fully recognize the right to free speech is core to the US Constitution but there is simply no place in the Penn community for anyone advocating genocide and murder,” the letter read.
Magill has been under intensifying pressure since her appearance at a congressional hearing on Tuesday where she was grilled on whether whether calling for the genocide of Jews violates the school’s anti-harassment policies.
“It is a context-dependent decision,” Magill said, refusing to be boxed into a sweeping comment.
Harvard President Claudine Gay responded similarly to the interrogation, dodging a yes-or-no answer to the question.
“At Harvard, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s rules of bullying and harassment?” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked.
“It can be, depending on the context,” Gay replied.
Her failure to give a blanket answer infuriated billionaire alum Bill Ackman, who has been spearheading the movement to punish students and faculty over anti-Israel statements.
He called on the first black president in the school’s 368-year history to resign and even suggested she only had the job because of the color of her skin.
Gay issued an apology on Thursday, saying she regretted how she handled the debate with Stefanik.
“I got caught up in what had become at that point, an extended, combative exchange about policies and procedures,” Gay told The Harvard Crimson. “What I should have had the presence of mind to do in that moment was return to my guiding truth, which is that calls for violence against our Jewish community—threats to our Jewish students—have no place at Harvard, and will never go unchallenged.”
“Substantively,” she added, “I failed to convey what is my truth.”
Editor’s note: This article originally referred to David Pottruck as Charles Schwab CEO. He is the company’s former CEO.