The president of the University of Southern California has agreed to step down amid a raging sex scandal involving a university gynecologist who is accused of conducting inappropriate exams for decades. The university's board 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 C.L. Max Nikias would leave his post. "We have heard the message that something is broken and that urgent and profound actions are needed," Caruso said. The announcement came days after hundreds of students, professors, and alumni demanded Nikias' ouster, alleging that USC failed to 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, per the AP. At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed so far and police are interviewing alleged victims to see if any crime was committed. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that complaints about Tyndall weren't properly addressed by USC for years and university officials never reported him to the medical board, even after he was quietly forced into retirement. Tyndall's public response so far: "Patients sometimes fabricate stories," he wrote in a letter to the LA Times. Nikias, 65, became the university's president in 2010. (This isn't the only scandal that occurred under his watch.)