MIT apologizes for $800K Epstein grant

In a letter dated 22 August, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) expressed their concern and apologies about the fact that controversial public figure Jeffrey Epstein granted more than eight hundred thousand dollars (USD 800,000) to the university.

The letter detailed that the MIT Media Lab, and one of the professors running it received several grants from foundations connected to Jeffrey Epstein. Mr. Epstein is a controversial figure in the media industry, as he was convicted of sex trafficking, and later died of suicide in prison. 

According to a recent Washington Post publication, Jeffrey Epstein had connections all over the higher education of the United States. His foundations have helped out a number of the best-recognized higher education institutions like Harvard and Arizona State University.

MIT announces a review of funding policies

In light of the controversiality of Jeffrey Epstein, and the large amount of funding MIT received from him, the administration has announced that there will be a revision of the grant and funding policies MIT follows. 

In response to criticism for accepting this grant, MIT President L. Rafael Reif has announced that the full amount of the funding will be donated to several charities aiming to help victims of Mr. Epstine’s illegal activities. 

While in 2015, MIT disregarded accusations of accepting these funds and dismissed a publication by Epstine himself, the current controversy surrounding the financier has forced MIT to come clean and admit to receiving the money.

The most concerning detail about the financial help received from Jeffrey Epstein is that his donations continued over more than twenty (20) years, and MIT has just recently recognized that this poses a moral and ethical issue.

Hopefully, these revelations will introduce a change to MIT’s funding and donation policies, as accepting money from publically controversial figures has a negative effect on the university’s reputation.