UPenn selects M. Elizabeth Magill as new president
The current executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia will succeed longtime Penn President Dr. Amy Gutmann, starting July 1.
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The University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees announced on Jan. 13 that it has nominated M. Elizabeth Magill to serve as the ninth president of the University.
She is currently the executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia — the first woman to serve as provost — and will assume the role of Penn’s new president on July 1, 2022.
M. Elizabeth Magill nominated to become President of the University of Pennsylvania https://t.co/7GSeJvV3gd— Penn (@Penn) January 13, 2022
Magill will succeed current UPenn President Dr. Amy Gutmann, who announced last year that she would conclude her tenure as Penn’s president after serving in the role since 2004. Gutmann is the longest-tenured president in the university's history. In July 2021, she was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as United States Ambassador to Germany.
In the announcement of the Magill selection, Chair of the UPenn Board of Trustees Scott Bok, praised Magill for being “an extraordinarily accomplished academic leader,” making her “exactly the right person” for this role.
“Throughout her distinguished career she has demonstrated a passionate commitment to academic excellence, to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to student success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Bok.
“Further, she truly understands and values the critical role of faculty in teaching and research, which is so important to Penn,” he added.
Magill was named the executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia in 2019. She had previously spent 15 years on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Law in a number of capacities, including vice dean, the Joseph Weintraub-Bank of America Distinguished Professor of Law, and Elizabeth D. and Richard A. Merrill.
Between her tenures at UVA, she served seven years as the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School.
Magill was raised in Fargo, North Dakota and earned a bachelor’s of art degree in history from Yale University, before going to earn her Juris Doctorate from the UVA School of Law.
Prior to entering academia, she served as a senior legislative assistant for energy and natural resources for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad for four years. She also clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and later for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who Magill credits as having had a profound impact on shaping her career.
In a statement, Magill said she is humbled and honored to lead UPenn as its new president and succeed the “visionary and innovative leader” that is Dr. Gutmann.
“From its founding, Penn set its sights on making a difference, and 282 years later the Penn community continues to change the world every day through world-class research, teaching, patient care, and service. What is special about Penn is that it does this with an uncommon mix of pragmatism, creativity, and humanity,” she said.
“I look forward to working with the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community members to build on this inspiring legacy and shape Penn’s next great chapter. I cannot wait to get started.”
The full Board of Trustees will vote on Magill’s nomination at its Stated Meeting on March 4.