USC Warned Several Times About Med School Dean’s Inebriation But Took Little Action

For years, the troubling reports circulated among the faculty of USC’s Keck School of Medicine: Their dean had a drinking problem.

Then-USC Keck School of Medicine Dean Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito arrives at the Second-Annual Rebels With A Cause Gala at Paramount Studios on March 20, 2014, in Hollywood. (Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Then-USC Keck School of Medicine Dean Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito arrives at the Second-Annual Rebels With A Cause Gala at Paramount Studios on March 20, 2014, in Hollywood. (Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

One colleague told of witnessing a boozy Dr. Carmen Puliafito reeling and shouting at a university dinner. Another said Puliafito appeared drunk at an off-campus gathering as he spilled into his car and drove away.

Then there was a Keck medical conference, a researcher who attended recalled, in which the dean seemed inebriated when he fell asleep in his chair.

Complaints of Puliafito’s drinking began to reach USC administrators more than five years ago. Then in 2016, and again last March, the university received information that Puliafito was in a hotel room with a young woman who suffered a drug overdose.