Given the reports by members of the media, University of Southern California president C.L. Max Nikias failed at leadership. He didn't select the right things to pay attention to. There have been two high-profile examples of that.
One was not quickly and thoroughly investigating complaints about the former university gynecologist George Tydall. Despite those complaints the medical doctor held his job for 30 years. In 2016, he was forced into retirement. However, no report had been made to the medical board. Nikias had been heading USC since 2010. That's a six year gap in appropriate leadership.
The other had been the antics of former dean of the medical school Carmen Puliafito. The LA Times had reported that he had used illegal drugs and recreated with questionable characters. At a party, a former prostitute overdosed and medical help was needed. Recently his medical license had been suspended by California. However, it took what seemed too long for the USC to force him out.
Now, it is Nikias who is leaving his job. The university community had been in an uproar about his failure to identify the right things to be done and then setting in motion the apparatus to achieve those outcomes.
Can the tragic flaw of too many at the top level of administration in universities - think Michigan State and Penn State - be that they are businesspeople - not wise leaders? Their focus may have shifted from developing minds to protecting the brand, raising funds, and attracting more and more consumers.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.