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Higher Education

The secret life of a USC dean

Puliafito, speaking at a USC gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in October 2015, was a prodigious fundraiser. (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages via Associated Press)
Puliafito, speaking at a USC gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in October 2015, was a prodigious fundraiser. (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages via Associated Press)

In USC’s lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university.

There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

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