More Than 300 Patients Sue USC as Faculty Push for President’s Exit

C.L. Max Nikias said he would step down but has yet to leave.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias commemorates the USC Shoah Foundation's 20th Anniversary at USC on April 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Araya Diaz/WireImage)

More than 300 former patients are suing USC for allegedly failing to protect them from sexual abuse at a campus health clinic even as university faculty push to speed the departure of the outgoing president, C.L. Max Nikias. In May, the university’s trustees announced that Nikias has “agreed to begin an orderly transition” to a new president, reports The Los Angeles Times. 

At the time, the move seemed to be an attempt to quiet the outrage by professors and students over the handling of Dr. George Tyndall, the longtime campus gynecologist who was the subject of repeated complaints during his 30 years at the student health center.

But Nikias is still at his post, and many faculty members are concerned that he may never leave. A petition addressed to the trustees and signed by more than 670 faculty members charged that there had been “no follow-up” in terms of naming an interim president nor in starting a search for a permanent replacement, reports The Los Angeles Times. 

Tyndall, 71, has denied any wrongdoing and said his exams were appropriate. In this week’s lawsuits, 90 women and one transgender men echoed previously filed allegations that Tyndall improperly touched patients’ genitals during exams and also made lewd and inappropriate comments about their bodies.

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