Student backlash leads Thomas Jefferson University president to resign after liking tweets from Alex Berenson, Donald Trump Jr

“Please be assured this will be a learning experience, and I will grow as a person and professional from this misstep.” 


Thomas Jefferson University President Mark Tykocinski came under fire for liking tweets about outspoken detransitioner Chloe Cole and Covid vaccine side effects, among other hot button issues. Tykocinski has now resigned after one year on the job.  

Although there was no mention of the tweets in his leadership change announcement, CEO Joseph Cacchione of Jefferson said he was "disappointed" in the "careless use” of Tykocinski's Twitter account at the time of the controversy. Tykocinski will return to being a professor. 

Tykocinski had liked a few specific tweets that came under fire. One was from Alex Berenson, which stated, "Two years after their introduction, the mRNAs Covid vaccines have proven to be what we all should have expected." 

"Another in a long line of overhyped, rushed, profit-driven Big Pharma flops," the tweet continued. 

The other was a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. which highlighted detransitioner Chloe Cole.  

Trump Jr. said, "Doctors lied and coerced a 13-year-old into an irreversible 'gender affirming medical procedure.'" 

"Now she is fighting back and suing them. Donate here to support the lawsuit and help stop child mutilation," Trump Jr. concluded. The tweet linked to a fundraiser to support a lawsuit against her former doctors. 

He had also liked a letter to the Wall Street Journal, titled, "Diversity Czars Always Need to Find New Oppression" 

Employees and students even expressed relief that he had resigned.  

One anonymous medical student said, “It was one of the outcomes that we wanted." 

Half a dozen student organizations at the school wrote an open letter on Instagram to the administration that because of this there was a "broader issue" in the institution regarding a "lack of diversity and inclusion." 

Source: jefflgbtq Instagram, accessed Aug. 7, 2023

The letter called his engagement with the post about Cole "inappropriate" and that it was wrong of him to equate "gender-affirming care to child mutilation."

“I understand that my lack of knowledge of the Twitter platform created questions and unintentionally offended many,” Tykocinski wrote in his apology message. “Please be assured this will be a learning experience, and I will grow as a person and professional from this misstep.” 

Tykocinski's apology was not enough for the students, who also said that in his apology he did not make an "assertion that he does not support the Florida drag bans." 

Source: jefflgbtq Instagram, accessed Aug. 7, 2023

The students wrote that because of this and his "failure to refute anti-LGBTQ+ allegations," Tykocinski "harbors sentiments antithetical to Jefferson's stated beliefs. They added that his "continued leadership" opposes aims of the campus to "actively [combat] discrimination and bias." 
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