University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigns

By Matt Egan, CNN

Updated 7:15 p.m. ET, December 9, 2023
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4:43 p.m. ET, December 9, 2023

A major donor called on Magill to resign after her disastrous testimony on antisemitism, threatening a $100 million gift

Among the most prominent voices calling for University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill's ouster was Ross Stevens, a major donor who threatened to rescind stock, costing the university $100 million if she didn't step down.

The CEO of Stone Ridge Holdings sent a letter on December 7 to Penn, threatening to take steps that would cost the Ivy League school approximately $100 million if Magill stayed on as president.

Stevens, a Penn alum, argued he had clear grounds to rescind $100 million worth of shares in his company that are currently held by Penn. He specifically cited Magill’s disastrous testimony before Congress on December 5.

“Absent a change in leadership and values at Penn in the very near future, I plan to rescind Penn’s Stone Ridge shares to help prevent any further reputational and other damage to Stone Ridge as a result of our relationship with Penn and Liz Magill,” Stevens said in a note to his employees.

Lawyers at Davis Polk, representing Stone Ridge, wrote a letter to Penn that cited an agreement between the school and the firm. That agreement, according to Stone Ridge, gives the firm the ability to retire the shares for cause, including potential damage to Stone Ridge’s “reputation, character, or standing.”

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5:56 p.m. ET, December 9, 2023

House committee is investigating

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik questions witnesses during a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on December 5 in Washington, DC.
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik questions witnesses during a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on December 5 in Washington, DC. Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP

The House Education and Workforce Committee launched an investigation with full subpoena power into Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik announced December 7.

“We will use our full Congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage,” Stefanik said in a statement. “After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation.”

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, chairwoman of the committee, called the testimony “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Committee members have deep concerns with their leadership and their failure to take steps to provide Jewish students the safe learning environment they are due under law,” Foxx said in a statement.

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