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Penn appoints Dr. J. Larry Jameson as interim president of university

Digital Brief: December 12, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: December 12, 2023 (AM) 02:29

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- University of Pennsylvania's Board of Trustees unanimously approved the motion to appoint Dr. J. Larry Jameson as interim president of the university, replacing former Penn president Liz Magill. 

The motion was approved Tuesday during a 2 p.m. Zoom press conference with the Penn Board of Trustees.

Magill and Scott Bok, two top leaders at the University of Pennsylvania, resigned Saturday after days of criticism and pressure from donors, alumni and Jewish community members following Magill's comments in a Congressional hearing on campus antisemitism.

"I write to share that President Liz Magill has voluntarily tendered her resignation as President of the University of Pennsylvania," Bok, Chair of Penn's Board of Trustees, wrote in a letter to the Penn community.

After her exit, Bok also announced he would be stepping down effective immediately and that he declined to stay and help with the presidential transition. It was announced Sunday that Julie Platt will serve as the interim chair of the board to replace Bok. 

Bok said in a statement that Magill made a "very unfortunate misstep" in a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on Tuesday.

"The world should know that Liz Magill is a very good person and a talented leader who was beloved by her team. She is not the slightest bit antisemitic," Bok said in a statement. "Working with her was one of the great pleasures of my life. Worn down by months of relentless external attacks, she was not herself last Tuesday. Over prepared and over lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, she provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony."

Jameson formerly worked as the executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine since July 2011.

Before starting at Penn Medicine, Jameson was dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine and vice president of Medical Affairs at Northwestern University, positions he held since 2007.

UPenn describes Jameson as "a prolific physician-scientist and writer. Jameson has been a pioneer in molecular medicine in the field of endocrinology. His research has focused on the genetic basis of hormonal disorders and he is the author of more than 350 scientific articles and chapters."

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