After days of consternation, angst, public relations do-overs — and even a video plea for forgiveness — with her universe of supporters shrinking by the hour, Penn’s embattled president was allowed to resign. (And she’ll will likely get a severance that could pay for the tuition of dozens and dozens of Penn students.)

So, all’s well, right? Magill “misspoke.” Pressure mounted. She’s gone.

Except…all is not well at Penn. Magill did not go “off-message.” Her morally tone-deaf statement before Congress — and re-statement — perfectly represents the mindset at Penn and the Ivy League. (And, surprisingly, even MIT.)

Whether you’re attending Penn, have a child attending Penn, or are among the 99 percent of us who have no ties to Penn, you might ask: why do I care? Because whether you are devoutly Jewish, a supporter of Israel, or among those of us who are shocked and outraged at her abject moral failure to speak out against threats of genocide when she appeared before Congress, her departure in and of itself does nothing to address the real problem, the root cause.

The root cause is the morally vacant, anti-liberal mindset that permeates Penn, produces graduates who become teachers, professors and civic, media and business leaders — and their Board of Trustees with their tentacles in corporate America. 

Again, Magill didn’t misrepresent Penn’s values; she stated them loudly, clearly, and repeatedly. The reality — I hope — is that America revolted against not merely Magill’s words, but against Penn’s values.

Yes, Magill showed a lack of leadership, a lack of morality, and a staggering level of tone-deafness before Congress and the nation. Remember, her failed testimony came after she was publicly criticized for her initial statement in early October after Hamas’s butchery. Her professionally prepared and reviewed October statement was both very delayed and morally vague. Two months later, when testifying before Congress, it is not at all surprising that she could not label student calls for genocide — genocide! — as bullying. Because, at Penn, it’s not!

What is relevant to all of us is that she is the embodiment of what Penn has tragically become. She sounded just like Penn’s handbooks, press releases, course guides and recent years’ speaker series. They mislabel campus dialogue as “hate,” eliminate debate and opposing points of view, and have so twisted the English language into knots that they mistakenly focus on eliminating campus-created “micro-aggressions.” Yet they tolerate marches, rallies, and near-riots that actually shout chants of hate, destruction and genocide.

They literally cannot tell the difference between right and wrong.

Recall that just weeks ago, after Magill’s delayed and morally challenged statement after the unprovoked terror attacks on October 7, the Board of Trustees at Penn issued a public vote of confidence in Magill. 

Shame on us if her departure allows Penn to conduct a search and install Liz Magill 2.0 and we let them treat it as “all’s well.” Again, whoever is president at Penn doesn’t impact us. But how Penn conducts itself does.

Penn and its brethren need a mission overhaul. These schools need to get back to true, genuine liberal education: debates of issues, exposing students to various topics and points of view, and allowing students to work through problems rather than offering them glorified bubble-wrapped, sheltered existences. 

Yes, this includes protecting the First Amendment and student safety. Reinforcing actual truths (1+1 does in fact equal 2!), and right from wrong. Inviting debate. And at the same time, teaching that there is true wisdom, there is common sense, and there are cultural norms and American values.

And while science and math should invite constant challenges, reexaminations and seek new horizons, these “elite” universities should not send adults into the world with flat-out inaccurate “evolving” theories of math or science. These universities produce the people who help promulgate the absurd idea that 2+2 could be 5 or that it is racist for teachers to mark that answer wrong for certain students. The false idea that mathematical and biological truths no longer apply. That conservative thoughts are “hate,” yet, antisemitism is protected.

For most of my life, adults would often joke about college students and how most students were living sheltered, easy existences. So often they would say — and I would say, myself, as I got older — “wait ‘til they graduate and have to live in the real world.” Meaning: where close enough isn’t good enough, where some bosses are “mean,” where not everyone thinks like you, and where experience might trump college theory.

One of the great failings of our society is that over the last few years these elite universities and their professors have sought not to get students ready for the world, but instead have been turning American society into university campuses. Changing the rules for science and math. Silencing speech. And turning the First Amendment on its head.

That’s why this past week the Congressional hearing debacle is not about Liz Magill. It’s about a mindset that searches out and installs Liz Magill-types as President. Penn got exactly what they were looking for. Her words and values are morally bankrupt because Penn is. She comes from a world where Riley Gaines is to be silenced and shunned, yet, “from the river to the sea” and “death to Israel” — chanted at Jewish students in student dorms — is tolerated.

As a private university, neither citizens nor Congress can compel Penn to change. But, there are things that citizens, Congress and the Pennsylvania legislature can do.

Neither the Pennsylvania legislature nor Congress should allocate one dime of taxpayer money — not for research or subsidies or incentives. Zero.

There should be no more taxpayer-backed student loans — let Penn with its $20 billion endowment guarantee the loans for its students, especially as it charges up to $92,000 per student and saddles them with debt, which taxpayers are being asked to subsidize and guarantee. (This should actually be how we treat most if not all student loans — but, especially at Ivy schools that have endowments in the billions of dollars.)

Parents should think twice before their children enroll at Penn. And, yes, employers should think twice when interviewing Ivy grads. It’s not about the diploma, it’s about their true knowledge base and the values that they bring to bear in your workplace.

Penn must recommit itself to liberal education, free speech and protecting the actual, physical safety of its students. Until these things happen, no more taxpayer money for research, for development, for subsidies.

They’re forcing their “values” on society. They’re graduating too many debt-ridden, non-critically thinking graduates. Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize these broken institutions. Not one dime.

The goal isn’t to punish Penn. It’s just to acknowledge that the university — and its higher ed allies — have failed us.

Leave them to their Ivy walls and intellectual fairy tale land, but not on our dime, in our workplaces, or with our children.

Guy Ciarrocchi is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation. He writes for Broad+Liberty and RealClear Pennsylvania. Follow Guy @PaSuburbsGuy

10 thoughts on “Guy Ciarrocchi: Penn president Magill’s resignation changes nothing”

  1. Thank you, Guy. Spot on. Nail head hit.

    This keeps reverberating with something creepily familiar. The stories you heard of spineless leaders in ww2, when they shrunk from standing up for what was right because they had no spine to do so.

    Mincing words because they are too cowardly to stand up to evil and they hide behind the BS of their far left, anti west, anti American intimidators regurgitating words that mean nothing.

    Good bye. Kiss off. We should all be so lucky to see the weakness and ineptitude of these “leaders” of the left so clearly in the future.

  2. There are about 300 Jewish billionaires: Few are decent. Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, and Bill Ackman, another Jewish billionaire… Let’s try and list them all: Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Steve Ballmer, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Len Blavatnik, Alain Wertheimer, Gerard Wertheimer… never mind. There are literally hundreds of them and now they cry and want protection from the mob. But they created the mob.
    Saagar Enjeti: “Ackman and those most upset …that they are not included as marginalized within the DEI regime. This is wrong. The correct objection is that the DEI regime itself is illegitimate and unamerican.”
    These billionaire scum are the actual problem. Not because they are Jewish – most Jewish people are good, holy, and regular people. These specific billionaires are unamerican, tyrannical, and they have taught the mob to attack the fabric of society. Do not be nice to them. Hunt them. Find them. Jail them. Laugh in their face if they call you racist or “antisemitic” and identify them for what they are: enemies of the United States both foreign and domestic. Put them in jail after they face a jury of their peers. If they are found innocent; they are innocent.
    Enjeti has said, “The correct objection is that the DEI regime itself is illegitimate and unamerican.” “Diversity, equity, and inclusion” is fairly recent branding that made radical cultural leftism palatable to corporatists who now answer to millennials in middle management and Harvard-educated journalists. These stupid billionaires created the uneducated mob that now calls for all Jews. Fundamentally, it’s not much different than the Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project that made its way into the “paper of record” and classrooms around the country.
    It is stupid garbage. Some stupid very rich Jews are upset, yet they created this narrative, and now they have been caught up in it. Root it out, identify everyone involved, and get ready for a war against Communists: foreign and domestic. We are at war with the Communists and elite rich. Not Jews. The elite rich that do not care about the United States.

  3. I think it’s a little hypocritical to talk about forcing values on people when you and the GOP continue to do the same and attack those with different values or opinions. I’m not justifying the university or it’s presidents actions, just pointing out the hypocrisy.

    1. First, good morning. Second, I commend you, Jenn, on your limitless supply of nom de plumes. Third, what’s great about the Left is that you’re favorite two arguments styles are: (1) always change the subject to deflect from the issue at hand; and, (2) transference: accuse conservatives of the very tactic that is at the heart of left-wing values. For the record; (A) the underlying issue is anti-Semitism, not partisan politics—it only became partisan because, other than Senator John Fetterman, too many Dems have been silent or even tried to justify the anti-semitism; (B) the point of my column is that Magill is a perfect representative of Penn—she didn’t resign for going off-message; she was perfectly “on message.” The Ivys literally cannot tell the difference btwn right & wrong. Lastly, to your silly, misguided argument (based in transference); on behalf of all conservatives allow me to be clear: (1) we are for open debate and discussion—there is no example of conservatives not allowing leftists/progressives/dems on a campus or event. Zero; (2) conservatives run almost no universities, no media outlets and very few government executive offices or agencies; (3) it was Dems and their left-wing allies that pushed conservatives off campus, and…the Biden WH, CDC and BigTech and BigMedia that shut down doctors, parents, pols and researchers who disagreed on covid lockdowns and mandates…a perfect example of the new reality. P.S. Have a nice day and stay dry.

      1. Hi Guy,

        First, this is not Jenn, but judging from your reaction I think I know what Jenn you’re referring to, as she does make some good points on your editorials. Folks were getting worked up on her posts from your election debrief. I like her.

        Second, I’m curious why you choose to respond to some people’s comments and not others. Or maybe you do and you like to use aliases like everyone else. I find it odd you chose this when the aforementioned article and its comments I feel would have warranted something from the author, but that time has passed.

        Third, on your third point its ‘your” not “you’re.” Probably just a typo on your smartphone given the lack of formatting in your response, I assume you were on mobile. Either way, both sides deflect. You are guilty of it as well. So again, hypocrisy. And what exactly is being transferred in your reference to transference? Or are you just reiterating deflection?

        Like I said, I wasn’t here to argue anything about the university or its president. Just making a point about your rant. So it wasn’t an argument at all against your article, just stating an observation I found funny. And your whole response is a deflection from my observation and what’s worse is that you don’t address it or deny it. You never do, you deflect. (I’m not using the word transference, because you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.) You went from one rant to another and somehow end up from talking about anti-Semitism to talking about COVID. Perhaps you’re trying to say the COVID and the slew of people you named was pushing beliefs or values on someone. I think history needs to be the judge on that one, not your or I. I suppose you think laws of forcing people to wear a seatbelt or not driving drunk are just is bad.

      2. A greater understanding of what is facing US can be gained if the power of the redirected purpose of foundations/non-profits is taken into consideration.

        With guidance from activist organizations can parlay their money into dragging the world into their dream and make a profit while doing it as evidenced by the 21st Century movers and shakers flexing their muscles on the international non-profit growth sector via

        This is their primer

        It shouldn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see the eventual effect it would have on our Constitution.

  4. Pot and kettle (not Jenn), Hello. Yes, Jenn does make good points sometimes. If she used Straight Arrow News her perspective may shift slightly. However, she was quick to call for censoring my comments about specific Jewish people (mostly ultra rich and overly educated communist tyrants) and avoided genuine debate by creating a personal defamatory attack as a diversion to the actual point of how ironic things had become for those tyrants.
    Often when commenting on this website I simply cut & paste from other articles. Your response back to Guy seems to have used a ChatGPT-like quality to it. I could be wrong about that, but AI uses certain styles, unless you specifically tell it to do otherwise, so I am about 80% confident of it. If you do use AI, which ones do you recommend?

    1. HI Michael,

      No ChatGPT here. That’s USDA Grade A organic me. lol But now I’m curious about ChatGPT writing styles. Either I talk like a an AI or an AI talks like me.
      I’ve haven’t tried any of the Chat GPT yet. I do know some colleagues that use Bing GPT for things if you were looking to try one.

  5. The politically correct universities are echo chambers of correct academic attitudes. These attitudes have also crept into the most highly thought of private schools in the Philadelphia region
    The sensible attitudes that I grew up with in the Midwest are now labeled “far right” by the indoctrinated leftists. People who don’t share DEI
    Beliefs are attacked if they speak up and so they remain silent. I know because it has happened to me. I have more in common with the middle class black population than the graduates of our elite universities. I think we need to find the courage to speak out before it’s too late.

  6. The majority of Jewish Americans, self included, wouldn’t be caught dead voting for right wingers and this article clearly demonstrates why. (hint: it’s not because, as the GOP front runner has repeatedly stated we are “disloyal”). The fact is, when you see this kind of pearl clutching coming from people who love virtue signal incessantly about “free speech”, and railing against “cancel culture” you know they aren’t arguing in good faith. As though cancelling bud light and worshiping Musk’s censorship on X wasn’t clear enough.

    fwiw, I’m Jewish and have family friends who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas on 10/7. Antisemitism is very real but to see it disingenuously used by MAGA nuts to score cheap political points (while continuing to deify self-described wannabe dictator Trump) is alarming to say the least.

    Remind me – When Trump was referring to the “very fine people” in Charlottesville, was he talking about the swastika flag waving, Hitler saluting Nazis or was he “only” referring to those who traveled from all over the country in order to (in their own words) “unite” with swastika flag waving, Hitler saluting Nazis? And where was the B&L article about his buddying up to Nick Fuentes and *repeatedly* citing Hitler’s words about rooting out “vermin” and those who are “diluting our nation’s blood”? Where was the B&L article about how he repeatedly used the antisemitic trope of labeling the majority of Jews (who DON’T vote Republican) “disloyal”? This is the freaking POTUS we’re talking about, not some random college kids.

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