USC former medical school dean
Carmen A. Puliafito. USC photo

USC said Friday that despite what was stated in news reports, disgraced former medical school dean Dr. Carmen Puliafito actually brought in about $12 million in donations during the past seven years — not the $1 billion he apparently claimed last month.

In a three-page letter to university supporters, Al Checcio, senior vice president for University Advancement, trumpets what he describes as “one of the most successful campaigns in the history of American higher education.” During the past fiscal year, Checcio reports, USC raised more than $794 million in new gifts and pledges, bringing the total of donations to nearly $6.3 billion as of June 30.

Puliafito claimed in a Los Angeles Times news story published last month that he’d raised $1 billion for USC after he was hired by the university in 2007.

Checcio disputes that amount, subtracting about $988 million from Puliafito’s calculations.

“In light of media reports regarding medical fundraising and the former dean of our medical school, Dr. Carmen Puliafito, I feel I must correct the record in order to protect the integrity and hard work of our department chairs, doctors, researchers, and professional staff who are the real heroes of our fundraising achievements,” the letter reads. “While the media reported early on that our former dean was a self-described `prodigious’ fundraiser, let me state the facts.”

“In the past seven years, Dr. Puliafito was responsible for barely one percent of the more than $1.2 billion that USC raised for medicine,” Checcio wrote.

A Times investigation found that when he was dean of the Keck School of Medicine, Puliafito used drugs and partied with a group of younger addicts, prostitutes and other criminals in 2015 and 2016, and brought some to his Keck office in the middle of the night. The disclosures sparked questions at USC over how administrators handled the dean’s case.

Puliafito, 66, resigned from his post at the medical school in March 2016, three weeks after a 21-year-old woman overdosed on drugs in a hotel room registered to Puliafito, the newspaper reported. USC kept him on the medical school faculty and allowed him to accept new patients.

After The Times story was published in July, USC moved to fire the Harvard-educated Puliafito and barred him from campus.

–City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.