Wealthy USC Donors Revolt After Interim President Removes Top Dean Over Handling of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Wanda Austin, USC's interim president, is seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Wanda Austin, USC's interim president, is seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

USC vowed to improve accountability and transparency in the wake of a scandal earlier this year in which the longtime campus gynecologist was accused of sexual misconduct against hundreds of students.

A dispute in USC’s Marshall School of Business is shaping up to be a key test of this new approach, and it’s pitting top administrators against some of the university’s major donors.

At issue is the removal of Dean James Ellis, who has led the school since 2007, over his response to sexual harassment and discrimination claims against faculty and staff.

USC’s interim president, Wanda Austin, informed Ellis earlier this fall that she planned to replace him at the close of the academic year next spring, three years before his term expired. Austin, the first woman to serve as president, as well as her supporters cast the decision as evidence that the school is learning from previous missteps.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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