Republican State Lawmakers Block UPenn Funding Over Antisemitism Response

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted down legislation Wednesday providing over $33 million in state funding for the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) veterinary school due to concerns about antisemitism on campus, according to The Associated Press.

Former UPenn President Liz Magill stepped down alongside Scott Bok, the chairman of UPenn’s Board of Trustees, on Dec. 9 after the university faced heavy criticism for UPenn’s handling of antisemitism on campus and Magill’s testimony to Congress earlier this month. The state’s House of Representatives passed the funding measure in the first two votes but failed to clear the necessary two-thirds majority required by the state’s Constitution, according to the AP.

“Until more is done at the university in terms of rooting out, calling out and making an official stance on antisemitism being against the values of the university, I cannot in good conscience support this funding,” Republican House Minority Leader Bryan Cutler said prior to the vote.

The funding was largely opposed by state Republican legislators, but all House Democrats voted in support of the legislation, according to the AP. The funding is typically approved annually with bipartisan support and makes up 18% of the veterinary school’s budget.

The school also lost funding from major donor Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, who announced that he was withdrawing his nearly $100 million donation, claiming that the school was violating its anti-discrimination policies.

Magill testified on Dec. 5 before the House Education and Workforce Committee and refused to directly answer whether or not calls for genocide against Jews were a violation of the university’s policy. Magill was also heavily criticized for her initial response to the terror attacks on Oct. 7 which did not explicitly condemn Hamas and for allowing the university to host a literature festival with several featured speakers who have glorified Palestinian terrorism.

UPenn did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Kate Anderson on December 14, 2023

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