USC president steps down in wake of sex-abuse scandal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of Southern California’s embattled president has resigned in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving a school gynecologist.

The USC Board of Trustees says C. L. Max Nikias agreed Tuesday to step down immediately, although he’ll become president emeritus and a life trustee.

The board chose board member Wanda M. Austin as interim president while it seeks a successor to Nikias, which could take four to six months.

Austin is the former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corp. Board chairman Rick J. Caruso calls her “a professional of impeccable integrity and character.”

Nikias and USC came under fire over allegations it ignored decades of complaints that a former school gynecologist groped women during exams. Allegations by more than 50 women have prompted lawsuits and a police investigation.

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