Lloyd will face ‘a set of disciplinary actions’ that will ‘limit’ his compensation

Majority of review panel found that Lloyd violated MIT’s conflict of interest policy

Provost Martin Schmidt PhD ’88 wrote in an email to the MIT community Dec. 18 that mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd will face “a set of disciplinary actions” for a period of five years that will “limit” his compensation, “ability to engage in solicitation of donors and foundations,” and “involvement in first-year” advising. Lloyd will also be “expected to undergo training on professional conduct” before resuming various campus activities such as teaching.

Schmidt wrote that he arrived at the decision after “conferring with senior administrative and faculty leaders, as well as” a review panel, which sought to determine if “Lloyd violated MIT policies,” and an evaluation committee, which sought to recommend “a set of disciplinary actions.”

The review panel consisted of Dean of Science Nergis Mavalvala PhD ’97; Materials Science and Engineering Department Head Jeffrey Grossman; and professors Rohan Abeyaratne, Daron Acemoglu, and Penny Chisholm.

The review panelists reviewed the Goodwin Procter report on MIT’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and “other documents they deemed relevant.” They also met with Lloyd and the Goodwin fact-finders “several times.”

The review panel determined that Lloyd “did not violate any MIT policies in accepting a gift from Epstein in 2005–2006 and a donation in 2017,” Schmidt wrote. 

The review panel also “did not find that” Lloyd attempted to “circumvent the MIT vetting process” or “sought to conceal” Epstein’s name. However, Lloyd “failed” to disclose “crucial information about Epstein’s background” to MIT.

Additionally, Schmidt wrote that a “majority” of the review panelists determined that regarding Epstein’s 2012 donations, Lloyd “violated MIT’s conflict of interest policy” by not disclosing that Epstein was a convicted sex offender. Thus, Lloyd “violated MIT’s policy on faculty misconduct.” A “minority” of panelists could not conclude whether or not Lloyd had violated MIT’s conflict of interest policy.

The review panel then submitted its findings to the evaluation committee consisting of Dean of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, Mechanical Engineering Department Head Evelyn Wang ’00, Physics Department Head Peter Fisher, Mechanical Engineering Associate Department Head Pierre Lermusiaux, and Faculty Chair Rick Danheiser.

The evaluation committee “convened several times” and met with Lloyd and the review panelists, Schmidt wrote. The evaluation committee then recommended disciplinary actions focusing on “‘Lloyd’s poor judgement and the impact of his actions on the community, which he may not have yet fully appreciated.’”

Fisher previously wrote in an email to MIT’s physics community Feb. 4 that he had suspended Lloyd’s secondary appointment in physics.

These disciplinary actions against Lloyd “cannot undo the harm done,” Schmidt wrote, adding that he recognizes that many community members “remain deeply disturbed” by MIT’s interaction with Epstein and that “some will be disappointed by this decision. In addition, for some, this outcome may renew past pain.”

Schmidt wrote that MIT community members who may benefit from “support or guidance” can find resources on an online document from the Office of the Chancellor.