Morgan State University insists that associate professor acted alone in million-dollar donation request to Jeffrey Epstein

A striking email sent in 2019 from a member of the university’s mathematics department to the infamous sex offender requested $5 million be endowed to Morgan.

Jah'I Selassie, Editor-in-Chief

University officials are investigating Dr. Jonathan Farley, an associate professor of mathematics at Morgan State University, because he solicited $5 million from then-convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for the university.

Farley, who has been with the university for over a decade, sought the large monetary donation in an email ridden with requests that, according to Farley, if granted would aid Epstein in his legal battles.   

VICE obtained the email, sent July 30, 2019, nearly two weeks before Epstein took his own life in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, NY. 

The university maintains Farley acted of his own volition. A Morgan State spokesperson said in a statement released to multiple media outlets, “At no time has Morgan State University sought out [nor] solicited Jeffrey Epstein for contributions or donations of any kind. Nor has the University empowered any of its employees or agents of the University to solicit contributions or donations from Jeffrey Epstein on its behalf. Morgan State University is opposed to receiving support of any kind from any individual or entity not aligned with the University’s values.”

Farley assured Epstein that he was “throwing him a lifesaver,” and his making the donation would garner support from the Black community in a time that he was being publicly scrutinized.

Initially, Farley suggested that Epstein submit the donation for “women in mathematics” to show his support for women while being convicted on numerous sex trafficking charges. 

“Our accepting your $5 million will show the world you are not a pariah and may help you avoid a conviction like Bill Cosby,” Farley wrote in the email. 

Authorities arrested Epstein July 6, 2019, mere weeks before Farley sent his request. Epstein faced  charges related to child sex abuse, trafficking, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Prior to his arrest, the FBI had investigated Epstein for a decade. 

Farley remains employed at the university at the time of this article’s release. Morgan officials have not disclosed if they will pursue disciplinary action.

Morgan’s Office of Public Relations declined to provide further comment but continues to investigate this incident.