USC Announces President Nikias’ Departure, Names His Interim Successor

USC appointed a retired aerospace executive as interim president and laid out a detailed plan for selecting a permanent leader Tuesday, ending speculation about whether outgoing President C.L. Max Nikias might remain in the post.

Wanda Austin, USC's acting president, is seen in a photo on the university's website.

Wanda Austin, USC's acting president, is seen in a photo on the university's website.

Nikias, embattled over his administration’s handling of a campus gynecologist accused of sexually abusing patients, relinquished his duties after a meeting of USC’s board. The trustees tapped one of their own, Wanda Austin, an alumna and former president of the Aerospace Corp., to temporarily run the university.

The trustees also approved the hiring of search firm Isaacson, Miller to coordinate the selection of a successor. A second search company, Heidrick & Struggles, will also advise trustees.

“Our goal is to complete this search within four to six months,” board chair Rick Caruso wrote in a letter Tuesday afternoon to students, faculty and alumni.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

Caruso letter to USC on Nikias stepping down