USC president stepping down amid gynecologist scandal

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USC President C.L. Max Nikias has agreed to step down amid public outcry over the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a former health center gynecologist. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias agreed to step down amid public outcry over the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a former campus gynecologist.

The USC Board of Trustees sent a letter Friday to faculty, staff, students and alumni to confirm that Nikias will be replaced as president.

"We have heard the message that something is broken and that urgent and profound actions are needed," Rick J. Caruso, the board's chairman, said in a letter.

RELATED: 200 faculty members call for USC president to resign amid accusations against ex-campus gynecologist

The statement went on to say that both the board and Nikias agreed to "an orderly transition" and begin the process of selecting a new president. It was not clear when Nikias would be stepping down.

"Our focus remains on offering support and counseling to those impacted, investigating what happened, and listening to and healing our community," the letter stated.

Multiple women have filed lawsuits against the school since allegations against Dr. George Tyndall came to light.

Former USC students sue over alleged sexual misconduct by ex-campus gynecologist

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Former USC students filed a lawsuit alleging gross sexual misconduct and sexual assault on campus by the school gynecologist.


A 2016 internal investigation found Tyndall had conducted inappropriate pelvic exams and made sexually offensive remarks to patients. The university did not report the matter to the state medical board.

Tyndall, who worked at the university clinic for 30 years, routinely made crude comments, took inappropriate photographs and forced plaintiffs to strip naked and groped them under the guise of medical treatment for his "sexual gratification," according to civil lawsuits filed this week.

Earlier this week, USC's Academic Senate passed a motion calling for Nikias to step down.

Nikias' resignation meant everything to those who work for the university and love its community.

"It is rare in this moment to speak in the public sphere and feel that you are being heard," professor Hilary Schor said. "The next president of USC has to be someone who comes in with fresh ideas about how to include these new voices."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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sexual misconductsexual harassmentdoctorsuscstudentscollegeinvestigationLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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