CAL­I­FOR­NIA

USC moves to fire ex-med­i­cal school dean

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - — Su­san Svr­luga

The University of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has banned its for­mer med­i­cal school dean from cam­pus and moved to fire him over al­le­ga­tions that he had abused il­le­gal drugs.

In a story last week, the Los An­ge­les Times wrote a stag­ger­ing ac­count de­scrib­ing the se­cret life of the for­mer dean of the Keck School of Medicine, Car­men A. Pu­li­afito. The eye sur­geon re­signed as dean in March 2016, staying on the med­i­cal staff. Three weeks ear­lier, the Times re­ported, a 21year-old woman al­legedly over­dosed in his ho­tel room in his pres­ence; po­lice found metham­phetamine in the room but made no ar­rests.

The Times story de­scribed videos and photos shot in 2015 and 2016 show­ing the 66-yearold Pu­li­afito us­ing drugs with a pros­ti­tute and friends, in­clud­ing in the dean’s of­fice at USC.

Af­ter the story broke, university of­fi­cials is­sued a brief state­ment, say­ing that Pu­li­afito was put on leave.

On Fri­day, USC Pres­i­dent C.L. Max Nikias wrote a let­ter to the cam­pus com­mu­nity: “We are out­raged and dis­gusted by this in­di­vid­ual’s be­hav­ior.” He said that the school had hired lawyer De­bra Wong Yang to in­ves­ti­gate Pu­li­afito’s con­duct, USC’s re­sponse, and its poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.

Also Fri­day evening, university provost Michael Quick wrote in a let­ter to the fac­ulty that the university had be­gun the process of fir­ing Pu­li­afito and stripping him of his fac­ulty ten­ure.

Fred­er­ick J. Ryan Jr., pub­lisher and chief ex­ec­u­tive of The Wash­ing­ton Post, serves on the USC Board of Trustees.

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