Elizabeth Magill (born 1966) is an American legal scholar and academic administrator who will become the University of Pennsylvania’s ninth president and 27th leader in July 2022. She is an administrative and constitutional law scholar who began her academic career as a professor of law at the University of Virginia. She later held the positions of dean of Stanford Law School and provost of the University of Virginia.
Elizabeth Magill resigned from the University of Pennsylvania on December 9, 2023, in response to the negative reaction to her testimony about antisemitism at Penn during a House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing.
Magill joined the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997 and remained there for 15 years. A constitutional and administrative law scholar, she was the Joseph Weintraub-Bank of America Distinguished Professor of Law, the Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill Professor, and the school’s vice dean from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, she was named dean of Stanford Law School, where she was also the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law. She was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Criticism and resignation in 2023
Magill was chastised in September 2023 for failing to support faculty and students who protested in support of Palestinians, as well as faculty who were harassed for participating in Palestine Writes, an on-campus literary festival.
Following the October 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel and the subsequent war, she faced counter-criticism for failing to respond adequately to antisemitism on campus, becoming a focal point of national anti-antisemitism campaigns. Major donors publicly withdrew financial support for the university and demanded Magill’s resignation. In response, Magill announced a plan to combat antisemitism with a task force and a student advisory group in November 2023.