Harvard Review Shows University Kept Ties With Jeffrey Epstein After 2008 Conviction

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Greg Price Contributor
Font Size:

Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in jail last August, visited Harvard University more than 40 times after being convicted in 2008 of sex charges involving a minor.

An internal review conducted by the university and released on Friday shows more extensive ties than had previously been known between Epstein and Harvard. It showed that the university accepted a total of $9.1 million in donations from Epstein from 1998 to 2008.

Although Harvard continually rejected donations from Epstein after his 2008 conviction, the report said that from 2010 to 2018, Epstein made more than 40 visits to the university’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which Mr. Epstein helped establish with a $6.5 million donation in 2003. (RELATED: Harvard Student Group to Host Conference Defending Homeschooling In Response To ‘Hostility In Academia And Media’ Towards Homeschool Families)

Despite having no Harvard affiliation, Epstein had key-card access to the program’s offices in Harvard Square and was given his own office space within the program until 2018, known as “Jeffrey’s Office.”

Epstein also developed a close relationship with the program’s director, Professor Martin A. Nowak, who “permitted Epstein to have unrestricted access to Harvard offices,” despite knowing he was a registered sex offender.

In 2013, Epstein’s publicist asked Nowak’s department to post links to the websites of Epstein’s foundations that included “both flattering descriptions of Epstein as a science philanthropist and false claims about the level of support he provided to Harvard. In 2014, Epstein’s publicist asked Professor Nowak to feature Epstein in a full page on PED’s Harvard website. Professor Nowak approved each of these requests.”

The review, however, found that neither the university, nor the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, knew about the postings and they were taken down in 2014 after complaints from a sexual assault survivor group. Harvard has placed Nowak on paid administrative leave.

“The report issued today describes principled decision-making but also reveals institutional and individual shortcomings that must be addressed not only for the sake of the university but also in recognition of the courageous individuals who sought to bring Epstein to justice,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow.