A biology and mathematics professor at Harvard University was sanctioned for his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — which included giving the serial predator unrestricted access to the campus.
The professor, Martin Nowak, was placed on administrative leave last year over the scandal. Now, he is getting ready to start teaching at the Ivy League institution once again.
Harvard Magazine reports that Nowak’s connections to Epstein were spelled out in a 2020 report: between 1998 and 2008, Epstein made gifts of $6.5 million to the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which was run by Nowak. (That figure made up the largest share of the $9.1 million in total gifts that Epstein donated to the University during that period.)”
The massive donations lead to Epstein being given his own space in the PED office, as well as key codes and a visitor card that allowed him unlimited access to the building. The investigation found that Epstein visited the campus over 40 times between 2010 and 2018.
The perks Epstein received did not stop there. Nowak’s team also created a page about Epstein online as “part of a larger effort to rehabilitate his image” following his sex crime conviction in 2018. It was taken down after one of Epstein’s victims contacted the university to complain.
Harvard has announced that the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics will be shut down and Nowak will be barred from supervising new students or advising undergrads for two years.
Dean for Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Claudine Gay said that she believes that the sanctions are “proportionate to the severity of the behaviour observed,” and that he may regain some of those privileges after a review in two years.
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial in 2019.