The president of the University of Southern California, C.L. Max Nikias, has stepped down—belatedly. It’s been over two months since he announced that he would resign, following revelations of alleged sexual misconduct by the school’s longtime gynecologist.
George Tyndall, who worked at USC for nearly 30 years, faces accusations of sexual abuse and harassment—including allegedly making sexualized commentary during medical exams and inappropriately photographing student’s genitals. Despite several complaints, he was allowed to continue practicing for years. It was only last summer that Tyndall was allowed to resign with an undisclosed payout.
Now, more than 300 former patients are currently suing USC for “failing to protect them from sexual abuse,” as the Los Angeles Times put it.
A Change.org petition placed the blame on Nikias and called for his removal—it was signed by over 4,000 people. The petition took issue with the fact that Nikias failed to inform Tyndall’s former patients of the results of a USC investigation finding that the gynecologist’s “behavior during pelvic exams amounted to sexual harassment.” It also faulted Nikias for waiting to report Tyndall to the California Medical Board until the Los Angeles Times wrote the exposé that broke open this case.
Earlier this month, nearly 700 faculty members signed a letter calling on USC’s board of trustees to get this guy gone. Now he is, officially.