USC president agrees to step down amid gynecologist scandal

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The president of the University of Southern California, C.L. Max Nikias, has agreed to step down amid a sex scandal involving a school gynecologist. A letter to faculty members on Friday, May 25, 2018, that was obtained by The Associated Press, said the school’s board of trustees had “agreed to begin an orderly transition” and begin searching for a new president. The letter did not say when Nikias would leave his post. | AP file photo

LOS ANGELES — The president of the University of Southern California has agreed to step down amid a sex scandal involving a school gynecologist, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees said Friday.

The university’s board of trustees has “agreed to begin an orderly transition and commence the process of selecting a new president,” Rick J. Caruso, the board’s chairman, said in a letter to students and faculty members.

The letter did not say when the university’s president, C.L. Max Nikias, would leave his post.

The announcement came after dozens of professors, students and alumni called for Nikias’ resignation following allegations that USC failed to properly respond to complaints of misconduct involving Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist who worked at a university clinic for 30 years.

Tyndall 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.

“We have heard the message that something is broken and that urgent and profound actions are needed,” Caruso said in the letter. “We recognize the need for change and are committed to a stable transition.”

A spokesman for USC said the university had no further comment.

Associated Press writer Brian Melley contributed to this report.

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