USC President Resigns After Mishandling Sexual Harassment Complaints Against Campus Clinic Gynecologist

Hundreds of faculty members along with thousands of students and alumni expressed outrage at the apparent cover-up. which the university denies

C.L. Max Nikias
Leon Bennett / Getty Images

Hundreds of faculty members along with thousands of students and alumni expressed outrage at the apparent cover-up. which the university denies

The University of Southern California (USC) president, C.L. Max Nikias, has agreed to step down after multiple charges were filed against a campus clinic gynecologist alleging sexual misconduct. At least eight complaints were made against Dr. George Tyndall between 2000 and 2014. While the university admits that they failed to properly investigate those claims, the Board of Trustees has decided to part ways with Nikias and seek new leadership.

Some 200 faculty members wrote an open letter demanding that Nikias resign in light of the scandal and the lawsuits which have been filed in recent weeks. CNN reported that Tyndall retired quietly last year after a nurse filed a complaint of inappropriate behavior to the campus rape crisis center in 2016. But USC failed to report his misconduct to law enforcement or the California state medical board. The university reached a settlement with Tyndall instead.

According to the Los Angeles Times, at least 21 women have sued Tyndall and USC. The victims allege that Tyndall performed pelvic examinations without using gloves while also uttering racial slurs and making crude remarks during the examinations. Their reports to the university were not investigated, which allowed Tyndall to continue his alleged predatory behavior. Tyndall was on staff at the university for nearly three decades.

Daniella Mohazab, one of Tyndall’s alleged victims, is being represented by attorney Gloria Allred. In a press conference held at Allred’s office on Tuesday, Mohazab expressed shock at the revelation that the university knew about Tyndall’s alleged behavior and chose to look the other way. She is suing the university and the gynecologist on the grounds of sexual battery, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring and retention among other claims.

USC health center
  Richard Vogel / AP Images

“I’m still in shock that USC had heard about Dr. Tyndall’s inappropriate conduct and had allowed him to continue practicing,” Mohazab said, according to CNN.

The LA Times reported that Tyndall penned a letter defending himself against the mounting allegations against him. The 71-year-old doctor denied any inappropriate behavior, charging that the patients “sometimes fabricate stories” and that his comments during those exams were misinterpreted.

USC is now taking action against Tyndall as reports have been made to the medical board and criminal complaints have been filed with the Los Angeles Police Department. According to the LA Times, the medical board has opened an investigation.

Nearly 400 women have placed calls to a USC campus hotline with reports of sexual misconduct against Tyndall. Attorney Gloria Allred believes that Mohazab’s case is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to extent of Tyndall’s bad behavior.

“This is just the beginning,” Allred said.