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University of Pennsylvania names Julie Platt as interim chair of Board of Trustees

UPenn names new interim chair of Board of Trustees
UPenn names new interim chair of Board of Trustees 00:55

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Julie Platt will serve as the Interim Chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of Pennsylvania after Scott Bok resigned on Saturday, the university said. 

Platt previously served as the Vice Chair of Penn's board. 

"We write to share that Julie Platt, the Vice Chair of the University of Pennsylvania's Board of Trustees, has been named Interim Chair by the Board's Executive Committee. As current Vice Chair, Julie was the clear choice, and we are grateful to her for agreeing to serve in this capacity during this time of transition.

Due to her current commitment as Board Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, Julie will only serve until a successor is appointed.

The Board's Nominating Committee will immediately undertake an expeditious process, including consultation with the full Board of Trustees, and will make a recommendation for the next Chair to the Executive Committee prior to the start of the spring term.

We share your commitment to this extraordinary University, and while this is a challenging time, the Penn community is strong and resilient, and together, we will move forward," the Board wrote in a statement on Penn Today. 

Platt, a Penn alumna, replaces Bok after he stepped from his role following the departure of Penn president Liz Magill.  

Magill resigned on Saturday after days of criticism and pressure from donors, alumni and Jewish community members following her comments in a Congressional hearing on campus antisemitism. Despite the resignation, she'll remain a tenured faculty member at Penn's Carey Law School.

Magill was one of three college presidents who testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday. They spoke about how they have handled antisemitic incidents on their campuses since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, with many Republican lawmakers insisting they aren't doing enough to root out and denounce anti-Jewish sentiments.

In the hearing, Magill got in an exchange with New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik about whether calling for the genocide of Jewish people violates the Ivy League university's code of conduct.

"If it is directed and severe and pervasive, it is harassment," Magill said.

"So the answer is yes?" Stefanik replied.

"It is a context-dependent decision, Congresswoman," Magill answered.

The comments led to a protest outside of Magill's office, where some demanded she step down. Magill later tried to clarify the testimony in a video statement before her resignation. 

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