An update on the work of the Antisemitism Task Force and Presidential Commission

This past fall, we established a University Task Force on Antisemitism and Presidential Commission on Countering Hate and Building Community. Today, I write to share with you their final reports, which can be found online on the Task Force and Commission websites.

First, I want to express my deep gratitude to the members of the Task Force and the Commission for their expansive outreach and for the thoughtful work they have put into these reports. These groups included faculty scholars, students, and staff, as well as former and current Trustees. They conducted dozens of listening sessions, reviewed hundreds of emails, consulted experts within and outside of Penn, produced online surveys, and spent countless hours in discussion with members of the Penn community and with one another. Throughout the process, I know that there were many strongly held beliefs expressed and passionate exchanges, and that these reports are the product of the rigorous, civil, and intellectual debate at the heart of Penn’s excellence.

The thoughtful recommendations contained within these reports offer concrete guidance for actions Penn can and will take now, as well as aspirational goals that will inform our institutional priorities for the future. The reports are both reaffirming and complementary. They contain shared themes, such as affirming Penn’s values and clarifying University policies and reporting, and offer distinct ideas for building community, investing in research and scholarship, and supporting the student experience.

Some of the recommendations in the reports are reflected in work already underway; other elements of implementation lie ahead of us and will benefit from further input as we assess which strategies make sense for Penn. I look forward to working with our Penn community to continue bringing these recommendations to life. We own the implementation process, and the culture it will create, together.

I encourage you to spend some time reading the reports and reflecting on our shared responsibility to cultivate a vibrant community that embraces our missions, acknowledges our differences, models civil discourse, and celebrates our successes so that everyone at Penn can thrive.


J. Larry Jameson, MD, Ph.D.
Interim President