Tutor establishes endowed chair position at Keck


Last week, the Keck School of Medicine of USC announced the creation of the Alia Tutor Endowed Chair, a position meant to advance the field of reproductive medicine.

Benefactors · (Left to right) Keck School of Medicine of USC Dean Carmen Puliafito; Alia Tutor, donor of the chair position and Richard Paulson, director of USC Fertility and the first person to hold the Alia Tutor Endowed Chair. - Photo courtesy of Steve Cohn

Benefactors · (Left to right) Keck School of Medicine of USC Dean Carmen Puliafito; Alia Tutor, donor of the chair position and Richard Paulson, director of USC Fertility and the first person to hold the Alia Tutor Endowed Chair. – Photo courtesy of Steve Cohn

Alia Tutor, a former adviser to the United Nations Office for Partnerships and wife of USC Trustee Ronald Tutor, provided the endowment for the new position.

Alia Tutor currently serves on the board of directors of Indego Africa, a non-governmental organization that advocates the economic and educational advancement of women in Rwanda. She also has worked extensively in the private sector, primarily in executive positions in companies such as Nourish Capital and Yorkshire Global Restaurants.

The chair position will be within the Keck Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a leading institution in women’s health that specializes in complex infertility treatment and in vitro fertilization.

The first holder of the chair will be Dr. Richard Paulson M.D., director of USC Fertility and Keck obstetrics and gynecology professor, who specializes in the study of the fertility of women older than 40.

“Richard Paulson’s  groundbreaking research and treatment have given hope to many couples who feared they would never be able to have children,” Dean of Keck Carmen Puliafito said to USC News. “This generous gift is a testament to his innovation and leadership and will assist him in his important work.”

Paulson has headed the USC Fertility Program since 1986, a division of Keck that concentrates on infertility treatment and the effect of aging on fertility. His work has been published in multiple medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and Lancet.

A UCLA graduate in medicine specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, Paulson famously facilitated a 63-year-old woman’s pregnancy and the healthy birth of her child in 1997. At the time, she was the oldest patient in the history of fertility treatment.

Paulson noted his excitement over the new opportunity in an interview with USC News, as chair positions within his chosen specialization are uncommon.

“Chairs in this field are rare,” Paulson told USC News. “And although we’ve made a lot of progress in the fields of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, there is still a great deal of work to be done. It’s a wonderful gift from the Tutor family to the Trojan Family.”

His most recent endeavors have involved analyzing the role of vitamin D levels in correlation to successful pregnancies. His division is also researching the absorption and clinical administration of reproductive steroids.

This endowment adds to the list of Tutor family contributions, a name which is no stranger to the USC community — both the Ronald Tutor Campus Center and the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Tutor Hall are named after the couple.

  • Reader

    This article could be improved, particularly for the target audience, by not assuming the audience has some fundamental knowledge about the structure of institutional organizations. Here are questions I’m left with after reading the article:

    — Starting from the basics: What is a chair? Is it like a position as a board member? If so, what topics will Dr. Paulson discuss and vote on in this position?

    — What will Dr. Paulson’s other responsibilities be, if any? Attending fundraisers and social networking events to promote his work and the school?

    — Will this mean a financial benefit for Dr. Paulson personally?

    — Following that, I wonder what other chairs are also related to this one. Other chairs at the same school? Other chairs also endowed by Mrs. Tutor at USC and other institutions?

    — What is the value of the endowment?

    — Did you attempt to reach Dr. Paulson, Dean Puliafito or Mrs. Tutor to ask them about this? I would welcome hearing their hopes, aspirations, goals and intentions regarding the new endowment. As the official student body paper I’d like to see a little leverage applied to reach the players involved in stories like this. I hope they’d be receptive to a 5 minute phone call with a DT reporter.

    After reading the article I have a nebulous and admittedly unsophisticated understanding that a rich woman gave a sizable donation to the School of Medicine, labeled with her name and Dr. Paulson’s. I’d really like to understand it better than that. I don’t know how that money is to be used or what roles the people involved will play as a result of the donation. Please remember to cover some basics with articles like this and do a little more than relaying what the major news outlets have published. A college paper is the perfect place for delving into the fundamentals! Thanks!