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MIT Disciplines Professor for Gifts From Jeffrey Epstein

December 21, 2020

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has disciplined Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering, for accepting $285,000 from Jeffrey Epstein, including a personal gift of $60,000, and not reporting the gifts as he was required to do, The Boston Globe reported. (Some of the gifts did not violate MIT's rules, but others did.) As a punishment, MIT will limit Lloyd's pay and his role in undergraduate advising for five years. He will also be required to take "professional conduct training classes" before he resumes teaching. Lloyd has been on a paid leave since January, when the gifts became public. Epstein ended his own life in 2019 while awaiting a trial on sex abuse charges against him.

“These steps cannot undo the harm done. Professor Lloyd’s failure to share what he knew about Epstein’s conviction when he accepted his 2012 donations was unacceptable,” MIT provost Martin A. Schmidt said in the email to the campus. “I recognize that many in our community remain deeply disturbed by the interactions with Jeffrey Epstein and that some will be disappointed by this decision.”

In a statement, Lloyd said, “With 2020 hindsight I should have sought further consultation at the time over Epstein’s appropriateness as a donor and communicated his past conviction. I will always regret the pain that the involvement with Epstein has caused his victims and members of the MIT community.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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