By: Mike Mustiglione
If you thought the story surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t get any weirder, you weren’t counting on the introduction of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology into it.
According to the university, MIT too lots of gifts – being valued in excess of $850,000 – for the convicted pedophile.
In an email sent to the MIT community that was posted on the school’s web site, President L. Rafael Reif wrote that the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation had released the fact-finding report it commissioned to help the Institute understand the origins, nature and extent of Jeffrey Epstein’s ties to MIT and learn from them.
“Today’s findings present disturbing new information about Jeffrey Epstein’s connections with individuals at MIT: how extensive those ties were and how long they continued. This includes the decision by a lab director to bring this Level 3 sex offender to campus repeatedly,” Reif wrote. “That it was possible for Epstein to have so many opportunities to interact with members of our community is distressing and unacceptable; I cannot imagine how painful it must be for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Clearly, we must establish policy guardrails to prevent this from happening again.”
The actions of a senior faculty member, Refi stressed, “have raised new concerns. In keeping with MIT practice on faculty discipline, I have asked his department head to consider any appropriate action. In the meantime, in consultation with the provost, dean and department head, I have placed him on leave. Department leadership will reach out to his advisees, students and staff.”
The report recounts the conduct not only of senior academics but of administrative leaders they worked with, the email said. “A central role of the MIT administration is to support the work of our faculty, in part by helping to secure research funding. The findings identify senior administrators who faced repeated requests that Epstein funding be allowed and made judgments about how to accept and manage it. These administrative leaders were weighing their concerns about Epstein as a donor against pressure from a lab director that the funding be approved.”
Noted Reif, “I regret that MIT did not have sufficient policies and processes in place to guide these senior administrators in facing these conflicting pressures. I also wish they had taken to heart the concerns others brought to them and simply put a stop to the Epstein funding, rather than improvising guidelines to allow the gifts under certain constraints.”
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