University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias has stepped down from his role effective immediately, the school said in a statement.

Nikias has been under fire in the wake of revelations that a former campus gynecologist was allegedly involved in sexual misconduct over many years. Thousands of students and alumni signed an online petition demanding his resignation, but Nikias announced in May that he would step down as president.

Nikias will become president emeritus and life trustee of the university, according to USC’s statement.

Board member Wanda Austin has been named interim president while a search for a permanent replacement continues.

Several former and current USC students have sued gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall and the school over his alleged sexual misconduct. Tyndall has denied the allegations.