Thomas Jefferson University President Mark Tykocinski resigned after facing criticism for liking tweets critical of COVID-19 shots and gender reassignment surgery for children.

Although Tykocinski will remain at the university as a professor, he will no longer serve in a leadership role.

“His crime appears to be liking my tweets. Academic freedom is dead,” Alex Berenson wrote in May.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

In an email to the university community Thursday, Joseph G. Cacchione, Jefferson’s CEO, said that Tykocinski is exiting the leadership role “to focus on his research and clinical translation efforts” but would remain a full professor. He also will no longer serve as interim dean of Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College. The email also noted that the university’s searches for a new provost and medical school dean were nearing completion.

Susan Aldridge, a senior executive higher education consultant who is a member of the board of trustees, became interim president on Wednesday, the school said in a statement. She recently retired from Drexel University, where she had been senior vice president for online learning and president of Drexel University Online. Steven Herrine, vice dean of undergraduate medical education, will become interim medical school dean, the school said.

There was no mention of Tykocinski’s Twitter activity in Cacchione’s announcement about the leadership change.

Several employees and students who had expressed concern about the president’s tweet likes said Friday they were relieved and pleased that the university’s leadership would be changing.

Freedom of thought and individuality no longer exist in most American universities.

If you don’t abide by groupthink, then you’ll be canceled by the academic mob.

As Inside Higher Ed noted, Tykocinski apologized for his Twitter activity.

However, that wasn’t enough for the communistic institution.

From Inside Higher Ed:

Critics told the newspaper that the president’s likes sent “an anti–public health message.” Tykocinski, a molecular immunologist, also serves as dean of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

Some employees raised concerns that even though the president liked the controversial tweets via his private account, Tykocinski’s Twitter bio clearly identifies him as “President, @jeffersonuniv.”

Tykocinski, 70, told the Inquirer that he used Twitter’s like function to bookmark tweets in order “to learn more about the subject matter or the particular viewpoint.” He added that he did not understand that giving a thumbs-up “could be interpreted as endorsement of the thought expressed or the person expressing it” and that he regrets his “lack of understanding of the Twitter platform.” He also expressed support for coronavirus vaccines and college DEI efforts.


A number of Tykocinski’s likes were of tweets from right-wing figures or organizations, including COVID-19 vaccine skeptic Alex Berenson, Donald Trump Jr. and Libs of TikTok. Both Berenson and Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeted in support of Tykocinski this week; Musk wrote, “This is absurd. Shame on the CEO and board of trustees of Thomas Jefferson University!”

Fox News ran a segment on the controversy.


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