Steinhardt Name to Stay Despite Allegations of Sexual Harassment

Michael Steinhardt was accused of sexual harassment in May, and a university investigation found he had made inappropriate remarks to members of the NYU community.


Alana Beyer

Steinhardt flags fly above its Washington Square East building. (Staff Photo by Alana Beyer)

Victor Porcelli, News Editor

NYU will not change the name of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development despite several women having accused its namesake — philanthropist and NYU trustee Michael Steinhardt — of sexual harassment, according to an email sent out by NYU Board of Trustees Chair William Berkley on Thursday.

Steinhardt was named after the billionaire after he and his wife, Judy, donated $10 million to the school in 2001. In May, six women came forward with claims that Steinhardt had asked them to have sex with him or made sexual requests of them, as reported by The New York Times. At the time, NYU launched an investigation into Steinhardt’s interactions with NYU faculty, students and staff. None of his accusers were associated with NYU; many were associated with Jewish organizations seeking donations from the billionaire. During this time, students expressed support changing the Steinhardt school’s name but did not organize any actions.

Recently, the investigation concluded and found “several instances of unacceptable remarks containing offensive language used by Mr. Steinhardt in front of or in talking to members of the NYU community,” according to the email. It goes on to say that Steinhardt’s remarks were discussed with him.

“My involvement with NYU over the last three decades has been among the most fulfilling work of my career,” Steinhardt said, according to Berkley’s email. “On several occasions I made remarks that were inappropriate. I am sorry, and it will not happen again.”

In the email, Berkley referenced a mandatory sexual misconduct training for Trustees and said that Trustee’s interactions with the NYU community should “exemplify the highest standards of appropriate conduct.” Other than citing that Steinhardt failed to meet these standards and asserting that this was discussed with him, no other actions have been taken by the Board.

Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected].