U.S.C.’s general counsel, Beong-Soo Kim, said that resolving the lawsuit “has been a top priority” for the university.
Revelations that Dr. Tyndall had mistreated students for years were first made public in 2018 in an comprehensive report released by the Los Angeles Times, for which the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
While the allegations of misconduct were first brought to the college ’s attention in the 1990s, U.S.C. did not immediately report him to the state medical board, and he wasn’t suspended from his job before 2016. After an investigation that resulted in senior leaders of the university being briefed on allegations, Dr. Tyndall was arrested in 2019 outside his apartment in Los Angeles and prosecutors charged him with 29 counts of sexual assault between 16 women. Through his lawyers, he’s continued to deny wrongdoing. He has pleaded not guilty to 35 counts of criminal sexual misconduct and is free on bail.
After the university set up a hotline and website to receive complaints, more allegations from students of misconduct poured in. After the scandal became public in 2018, the college sent emails to more than 350,000 people connected to the university, including students and alumni, with directions on how to report complaints.
The scandal, which forced the university’s president at the moment, C.L. Max Nikias, to step under pressure, erupted a year after U.S.C. was embroiled in another scandal, once the popular dean of the medical school was fired after being accused of using drugs and partying with prostitutes.
Even after Mr. Nikias was forced out, scandals, large and small, continued to engulf the university, once regarded as a party school for Los Angeles’s elite before it was transformed into a top-tier university with an endowment to rival Dartmouth’s and a faculty that included several Nobel laureates.
There was the dean of the business school who had been forced out over his handling of workplace misconduct claims. And then 2019, U.S.C. was ensnared in a wide-scale school admissions scandal, one which involved universities across the country, where wealthy parents were accused of paying thousands of dollars — bribes to be succinct — to receive their children, a lot of whom underperformed academically into colleges with athletic scholarships. Four U.S.C. athletics officials were charged in federal court for taking bribes, and some parents went to prison.