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USC President Steps Down Amidst Gynecology Sex Abuse Scandal

C.L. Max Nikias
The Associated Press

University of Southern California President Max Nikias officially resigned this week in the aftermath of a petition for his ouster that was sparked by a campus doctor sex abuse scandal.

Breitbart News covered the scandal surrounding USC campus gynecologist George Tyndall, who has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds and potentially thousands of female students over the past several decades. USC President Max Nikias officially resigned this week in response to growing pressure for him to step down. He had already agreed to step down in May but USC community members were growing concerned that Nikias wasn’t actually planning on leaving.

A petition demanding President Nikias’s ouster was published on August 1. The petition has been signed by over 600 faculty members. In the document, the faculty members argue that Nikias should step aside so that the university can move forward in the aftermath of the Tyndall scandal.

Two months ago, we wrote to you to express our grave concern over the terrible episodes that have shaken the university during the last year. We called for President Nikias to step aside to allow new leaders to heal the damage to the university, restore the trust of the community, and help us to move forward. 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 announcement made international news, and the press, the broader public, and our community applauded this first step taken to restore trust and moral leadership.

The petition goes on to say that Nikias cannot be the school official that greets incoming freshman in a few weeks when the University of Southern California reopens its doors. The petition subtly threatens that there will be protests and walkouts at the beginning of the school year if Nikias is not removed.

Yet today, with no follow-up regarding an interim President or a presidential search process, we find ourselves in a state of turmoil and uncertainty. Our students arrive on campus in less than three weeks. President Nikias cannot be the one who stands up to greet the new students at the Convocation. If he is, we face the prospect of student protests and walkouts, parent outrage, and a broad public perception that we have gone back on our commitment to accountability and transparency, as the world outside USC believes he has already resigned.

USC board member Wanda Austin has been named interim President of the university.

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