USC moves to fire ex-medical school dean
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.