USC President Left With $7.7M After Medical Scandal

Max Nikias stepped down in 2018, accused of ignoring complaints about gynecologist
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2020 5:42 PM CDT
USC Paid $7.7M to Send Its President Packing
Max Nikias, shown in 2017, stepped down as USC president the next year.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Max Nikias, who was president of the University of Southern California during what the US Department of Education called the school's "complete failure to protect students," left his job with nearly $7.7 million in total compensation. Nikias left his post in August 2018, after a scandal involving a school gynecologist, in which he and other administrators were accused of not acting on abuse complaints over decades against Dr. George Tyndall. A USA Today analysis shows Nikias, who had lived on campus in the president's house, received a $3 million, no-interest housing loan as part of his deal when he stepped down. His take averaged more than $2 million over the previous four years.

Nikias' final check, USC said, "reflects money owed to him for salary, retirement and other benefits, some of which date back to the employment agreement he entered into when he became President in 2010." The university's Board of Regents said it went along with the package for Nikias "to accelerate his departure." Nikias, who had no direct involvement in the scandal, is still a USC faculty member, per USA Today. The school made changes in its Title IX processes after the federal investigation, which was released in February. "This total and complete failure to protect students is heartbreaking and inexcusable," Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement at the time. (More George Tyndall stories.)

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