In May, University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias agreed to step down from his position as he was faced with scandals uncovered to the public. Months later, on Wednesday, USC faculty are now going to ask their board of trustees to make sure his resignation actually follows through, The Washington Post reported.
Over the last year, USC gained widespread attention when their former gynecologist, had molested and sexually assaulted students for years, highlighted in a report by the Los Angeles Times. Despite recent, numerous complaints, the school still allowed him to work there – which was when the university’s board of trustees said that Nikias agreed to resign.
In light of the allegations and scandals, USC stated their plan of action informing their community of what they planned on doing next.
“They called on Nikias to resign, and thousands of alumni and others did the same through online petitions,” The Washington Post said. “In May, the executive committee of the board of trustees promised to rebuild the school’s culture to ensure transparency and safety and to begin an orderly leadership transition.”
On August 1, USC faculty wrote a statement in a letter that was signed by almost 700 full-time faculty members:
Two months ago, we wrote to you to express our grave concern over the terrible episodes that have shaken the university during the last year. We called for President Nikias to step aside to allow new leaders to heal the damage to the university, restore the trust of the community, and help us to move forward. Two months ago, you listened to the voices of faculty, students, alumni, and community members, and announced that President Nikias would step down in an “orderly transition” to new leadership.
The faculty said that they do not want USC to backpedal on the resignation decision as “They asked the board to formally announce Nikias’s resignation, and the appointment of an interim president, by the time students arrive for the coming academic year,” The Washington Post said.
Some faculty were expecting the decision to take quite some time, but with no official word or updates from the University or Nikias, people started to get skeptical in the transition. So, workers felt they needed to relay a message in the letter.
“It’s just not acceptable to go back on what was already announced two months ago,” said Ariela Gross, a law and history professor and the co-director of the Center for Law, History and Culture at USC. “We really can’t move forward until we have new leadership.”
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