MIT President L. Rafael Reif made the pledge today in an open letter to the MIT community after two days of publicity about professors leaving the MIT Media Lab in disgust over the money - and shmoozing - it accepted from the now dead convicted sex offender.
Reif said that, to date, MIT has accounted for roughly $800,000 in tainted donations over the past 20 years - all to either the Media Lab or physics Prof. Seth Lloyd, both of whom have issued apologies:
With hindsight, we recognize with shame and distress that we allowed MIT to contribute to the elevation of his reputation, which in turn served to distract from his horrifying acts. No apology can undo that. In response, we will commit an amount equal to the funds MIT received from any Epstein foundation to an appropriate charity that benefits his victims or other victims of sexual abuse.
In addition to simply giving out money, Reif says he's convened a task force to figure out how to keep MIT from ever again winding up helping restore the reputation of a man convicted of having sex with an underage teen - in a plea deal related to charges he raped numerous such girls.