Oracle’s chief executive, Larry Ellison, said he will not give Harvard University the $115 million he’d planned to donate for a new health institute at the school because of former Harvard President Larry Summers’ February resignation and the resulting uncertain direction at the university, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The deal was never signed because Larry Summers abruptly announced that he was leaving the University,” Ellison wrote in an e-mail, according to the Journal.
Ellison said he will give the cash that would’ve gone to Harvard to an unspecified organization that works to train educators and teach children in poverty-stricken areas of the developing world, the Journal reports.
Harvard officials were unaware of Ellison’s decision on Tuesday, according to the Journal.
“We’re disappointed to hear that, and particularly disappointed that he hasn’t bothered communicating that to us,” Christopher Murray, director of Harvard’s Global Health Initiative, told the Journal.
Oracle representatives did not confirm or deny the news to the Journal.
In June 2005, Ellison said he’d donate the $115 million to Harvard for use in building the new health institute, and he told the Journal at that time that the transfer of funds was “absolutely going to happen,” though no formal contract was inked. Summers left his post at Harvard in February, and Ellison recently decided to hold back the funding.
Three Harvard employees who would’ve worked at the health facility have been let go, according to the Journal.
Ellison is not the only billionaire making headlines in recent days for his attention-grabbing philanthropic decisions. Recently Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief architect, announced plans to leave the software giant in 2008 to dedicate more time and effort to his health charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier this week, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman, said he will donate the majority of his impressive fortune to Gates’ charity.
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