The Massachusetts Institute of Technology plans to examine $800,000 of donations it received from foundations controlled by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein over two decades to identify “any lessons for the future.”
Rafael Reif, the university’s president, said in an email to the MIT community Thursday that he asked the school’s provost to examine the donations.
The internal review comes amid a growing outcry after the head of the MIT Media Lab said last week he began soliciting donations from Epstein in 2013, five years after the financier reached a plea deal over charges he trafficked dozens of underage girls that were sexually abused.
“To my great regret, despite following the processes that have served MIT well for many years, in this instance we made a mistake of judgment,” Reif said.
Epstein entities donated about $800,000 to MIT’s Media Lab and Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering and physics, according to the letter. While both the head of the Media Lab and Lloyd have issued apologies to victims of Epstein, who committed suicide in prison earlier this month, at least two scholars have vowed to sever ties with the lab to protest the revelation of the financier’s donations.