USC committee hosts open forum as it searches for new university president

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An on-campus forum open to students, faculty and alumni was held at USC amid the university's search for its next president.

The search for USC's new president went public with an open forum Thursday at the campus.

The forum, the first of three so-called "listening sessions," was held by the Presidential Search Committee.

The on-campus forum was open to students, faculty and alumni, but closed to the news media.

Attendees say roughly 300 people took part Thursday. The search committee is looking for input in choosing USC's next leader.

C.L. Max Nikias stepped down as USC's president in August following a series of scandals involving doctors tied to the university.

Longtime campus gynecologist, George Tyndall, was accused by students of inappropriate behavior during nearly thirty years on the job.

A former dean of USC's medical school, Carmen Puliafito, was accused of illegal drug use and partying with prostitutes.

Student Terri Stephens was new to campus as Nikias was pushed out.

"I think we just want representation, someone who understands everyone at the university, is accountable for what they do and takes everyone's opinion into account," Stephens said.

Sairaj Kapperi graduated from USC and now works there as a research associate. He is focused on restoring the university's reputation and sees the input sessions as a serious effort to choose the right person for the job.

"The board members are taking notes and it shows that they are genuinely interested," Kapperi said.
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