USC President Agreed To Step Down. Two Months Later, Faculty Members Are Wondering When

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The University of Southern California president agreed in May to step down from his post, but faculty authored a Wednesday letter asking the university board of trustees to make sure he does.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias has served as president of the school since 2010, but scandals during the 2017-2018 school year prompted faculty to call for his resignation, reported The Washington Post.

“President Nikias cannot be the one who stands up to greet the new students at the Convocation,” nearly 700 USC faculty members said in the letter, according to WaPo. “Two months ago, you listened to the voices of faculty, students, alumni, and community members, and announced that President Nikias would step down in an ‘orderly transition’ to new leadership.”

The Los Angeles Times reported in July 2017 that former USC medicine dean Carmen A. Puliafito used illegal drugs. His replacement, Dr. Rohit Varma, resigned in October 2017 after decade-old allegations of sexual harassment became public. The LA Times also reported that USC allowed its former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, to continue serving in his capacity despite numerous allegations of molestation.

“Nikias remains on vacation,” a USC spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Jim Staten, CFO, is acting president while Provost Michael Quick is away on vacation. Quick will be acting president again when he returns on Monday.”

The school made headlines earlier in July when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge made it pay over $100,000 in attorney fees to a student accused of rape after a USC Title IX official called him a “motherf**ker” after forgetting to hang up on a call. (RELATED: USC Slapped With Six-Figure Judgment After Calling Accused Student ‘Motherf**ker’)

“[USC Board of Trustees Chairman Rick] Caruso has interviewed four highly accomplished recruitment firms and will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, for their consideration and approval, at an August 7 board meeting,” the spokesman continued. “At the same meeting, the board will vote on the formation of a presidential search committee, which will represent perspectives from across the university community and make recommendations to the board. Throughout the summer, Caruso has had a number of constructive conversations with students, faculty, staff and alumni about the future of the university and its next president and will continue to seek broad input.”

This post has been updated with comment from the University of Southern California.

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