Physics department suspends Seth Lloyd’s secondary appointment

Lloyd will no longer supervise new graduate students or serve on physics department committees

Professor Peter Fisher, physics department head, has suspended mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd’s secondary appointment in physics. 

The physics department is “working with MechE... to review the [Goodwin Procter] report and Prof. Lloyd’s actions and reach a permanent resolution,” Fisher wrote in an email to the physics community Feb. 4.

Fisher wrote that Lloyd “will no longer be able to supervise new graduate students, attend Departmental events or serve on Departmental committees.” However, Lloyd will “continue to supervise students currently assigned to him [until] MechE, Physics and MIT reach a decision about his final state.” 

Professor Evelyn Wang ’00, mechanical engineering department head, wrote in an email to The Tech that “at President Reif’s request, I am working closely with departmental, School of Engineering, and Institute leadership to consider appropriate action regarding Professor Lloyd.” 

“Having Seth suspended will mean that our quantum computing effort will shift to other faculty. The Department will work with QIS [Quantum Information Science] faculty to help with this,” Fisher wrote.

President L. Rafael Reif placed Lloyd on administrative leave Jan. 10. Goodwin Procter’s report on MIT’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein wrote that Lloyd “purposefully failed to inform MIT” that Epstein was the source of two $60,000 donations and “knowingly facilitated Epstein’s plan to circumvent any possible MIT vetting process.”

In a Medium post Jan. 16, Lloyd denied breaking MIT protocol in accepting Epstein’s donations, writing that the “accusation that [he] hid Epstein’s identity from MIT” is “completely false.”