USC’s trustees on Wednesday upheld the ouster of the business school dean over his handling of harassment and discrimination complaints, countering major donors and others who demanded that the university retain him.
The decision represents an important show of support to USC’s interim president, Wanda Austin, who argued that the move was necessary to repair campus culture after a series of embarrassing scandals.
This fall, Austin informed James Ellis, dean of the Marshall School of Business, that he would be replaced at the end of the academic year, three years before his term expired. Ellis, a popular dean, had raised the business school’s prestige and national ranking.
Austin’s decision came after the university’s Office of Equity and Diversity, which handles harassment and discrimination cases, prepared a report on the history of complaints at the business school and after USC consulted outside lawyers and human resources experts to evaluate Ellis’ response.
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