The University of Pennsylvania lost a donation of $100 million and is on the verge of ousting its president in response to her handling of antisemitism on campus. That isn’t enough to solve the problem, but it is a good place to start.
Penn President Liz Magill was unable to say that calling for the genocide of Jews was a violation of the university’s code of conduct. In front of Congress, Magill said that it was a “context-dependent decision” to determine whether calling for the genocide of Jews would be classified as bullying and harassment under the university’s policies. Antisemitism at Penn has run so rampant that Penn police had to loop in the FBI. Students have projected antisemitic messages onto school buildings and held an antisemitic literature festival over the past month and a half.
Magill tried to clean up her embarrassing testimony by recording herself reading a prepared statement and posting it on social media, but the damage has been done. Former CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management Ross Stevens pulled a $100 million donation to the university, the board of the university’s business school is calling on Magill to resign, and Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) ripped her comments as “absolutely shameful.” It would be tough to imagine Magill holding her position this time next week.
But Magill is not the only problem with Penn. If anything, she is simply a byproduct of the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” racial obsession rot that infested Penn and other universities. Magill was only doing what she thought her university would want because universities have become DEI havens that only consider people to be victims based on their skin color or nationality.
Eliminating the antisemitic rot at Penn means firing DEI bureaucrats and shuttering their departments, which are designed to promote the exact racial obsessions and antisemitism that lead to someone saying that calling for the genocide of Jews is sometimes acceptable. That includes bringing the hammer down on antisemitic students for violating harassment policies and on antisemitic professors who think that “playing the victim is what Jews are best at.”
University presidents like Magill or Harvard’s Claudine Gay are the figureheads of their universities, but the problems go far deeper. Antisemitism and bigotry flow from DEI bureaucracies and through faculty and students at these universities, and changing the figurehead at the top of the university hierarchy won’t uproot the hatred being fomented on campuses across the country.