May 26 (UPI) — University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias has agreed to resign following backlash over his handling of claims a campus doctor sexually abused students.
The scandal stems from accusations the campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, sexually abused students for nearly 30 years, NBC News reported.
The USC Board of Trustees initially defended Nikias’ handling of the sexual abuse allegations, but on Friday, the board’s executive committee said in a letter that “something is broken,” and it will start searching for a new president.
“We recognize the need for change and are committed to a stable transition,” the letter said.
Two hundred professors signed a letter demanding he step down and accusing him of failing to respond properly to complaints against the gynecologist, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Four women filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Tyndall Monday. They accused him of abusing them between 2003 and 2015 and said he forced himself on them for his own sexual gratification.
By Friday, six more female USC students joined the suit, USA Today reported.
Attorney John Manly, who represents the 10 women, told NBC News in a phone interview Friday that he was glad to hear of Nikias’ resignation.
“It’s certainly overdue and I’m gratified,” he said. “Now the hard part comes. It’s not just him [Nikias]. There were others involved. And whether they were enabling Tyndall or involved in this settlement, they have to go. And then USC needs to accept responsibility. If USC is a family, these are our daughters.”
Manly, a USC graduate, now represents more than 80 of Tyndall’s alleged victims.
Manly previously represented victims of Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar‘s sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment and won a $500 million settlement against MSU.