The World-Class Ophthalmologist Out as Med School Dean at USC

Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a heck of a dean at the USC medical school. Under his leadership, the school went up in the rankings and hauled in millions in donations. However, it seems there was some extracurricular activity on the dean’s part. Photos emerged showing Dr. Puliafito lighting a glass pipe for a female companion who was smoking heroin. Then there was the video showing the dean popping ecstasy and saying to the camera,“Thought I’d take an ecstasy before the ball.” School officials were then given a tip that a young woman (age 21 and reportedly a prostitute) who had been partying with the dean at a Pasadena hotel was hospitalized for an overdose. Following the overdose report, Dr. Puliafito resigned as dean to “pursue outside opportunities.” Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina, “Scandal Sinks Dean at U.S.C., Shocking a City,” New York Times, July 26, 2017, p. A1. However, he remained on the faculty and continued to see patients.

Once the Los Angeles Times reported on the drug issues, USC’s president issued a statement saying,“. . .it is clear to us now that the university currently has only loosely defined procedures and guidelines for dealing with employee behavior outside the workplace that may be improper or illegal and has the capacity to affect USC. And, presently, the university has very limited capacity to conduct investigations and follow up on leads or anonymous reports of such employee behavior.”

Sometimes we get a report and hope that it goes away. That hope is always ill-placed. If what is reported is true, you have a problem. If it is false, you still have a problem to manage via communications and solid facts. Either way, once the reports and pictures emerged, the only alternative was an investigation. USC has hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate what happened. Now if they could just get the guy off the faculty.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD.

The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards.

Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader’s Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio.

She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News.

In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles.

Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.

This entry was posted in News and Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *