- University of Southern California
- Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
The University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading private research universities and an institution revered for its entrepreneurial spirit, seeks its next president.
Founded by civic leaders in a dusty town at the edge of a continent, USC was born outside the city limits, a frontier institution at its heart. Its aspirations—and embrace—were as expansive as the region it claimed. It was poised to break boundaries and transcend geography, and since opening its doors in 1880, USC has been on an impressive trajectory. In a comprehensive ranking, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked USC 17th among 1,061 public and private universities and USC has established itself as a leading institution in the academy, distinctive as a global center for the arts, technology, and international business.
Located in one of the capital cities of the 21st century, USC is the oldest private research university in the western United States. The University developed in stride with the dynamic city of Los Angeles, a global center for art, technology, culture, industry, and trade, and a vividly international city, with large populations from every part of Asia and Latin America. Famous as a dream factory, Los Angeles has never lost its frontier edge and constantly re-invents its physical fabric, its economy, and its society. USC is both in and of its city. It was shaped by a succession of visionary women and men who invested their time, insight, and financial resources to build one of the world’s great universities in the heart of one the world’s great, diverse, and expansive cities.
USC’s University Park campus is part of the city’s Downtown Arts and Education Corridor and is home to the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and many professional schools. The Health Sciences campus, northeast of downtown Los Angeles, is home to the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the School of Pharmacy, health science programs, and three major teaching hospitals. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, staffed by USC faculty from the Keck School of Medicine, is often referred to as USC’s third campus. USC also has programs and centers in Marina Del Rey, Orange County, Sacramento, Washington, D.C., Catalina Island, Alhambra, and around Southern California. USC also has innumerable global partnerships, including with The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Bocconi University, and the London School of Economics.
At the heart of the University are its students. USC stands among the most selective private universities in the nation, receiving over 65,000 applications in FY 2018/19 for 3,358 places in its freshman class. Selectivity has dropped over 15 years from 37 percent to 12.9 percent and average SATs are roughly 1,475, in competition with some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, who are usually half the size or less of USC. The yield rate steadily rises, nearly every year, now hovering at 40 percent. Twenty-two percent of the student body is Pell eligible, far more than virtually any private selective university.
The distinguished faculty of over 4,000 innovative scholars, researchers, teachers and mentors includes five Nobel laureates, and dozens of recipients of prestigious national honors including the MacArthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim Award, the National Medal of the Arts, the National Humanities Medal, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and Pulitzer Prize. Additionally, there are over 15,000 dedicated and committed USC staff who play an integral role in the operational enterprise. Careful comparative studies of academic distinction show a steady improvement in the quantity and quality of research and scholarship with sponsored research now exceeding $700 million.
USC students and alumni are both enthusiastic and loyal. The Trojan family has a powerful resonance and was essential to The Campaign for USC, launched in 2011. It reached its $6 billion goal in March, 2017, nearly 18 months before anticipated. It now approaches $7 billion, securing its place among the most successful campaigns in higher education, rivaled by only two or three much better established institutions. More than 10,500 donors have supported endowed scholarships, underpinning the university’s commitment to attract top students and to meet the financial needs of undergraduates through scholarships and other types of financial aid.
USC is an agile, driven, inventive, and an intellectually electric university, and the next President will join at a transformational moment as the campus makes important changes stemming from the issues of the last two years, takes comfort in its long trajectory of success, and plans a new strategy for the future. The President must lead through values, reaffirming the University’s commitment to its core academic principles and, above all, its code of ethics, while adding voices to its governance and exploring new, equitable ways of developing an authentic sense of community. The University will look to the President to develop a distinctive and compelling vision and narrative that will build on the unique assets of the University and its location, all with an eye toward expanded excellence and influence on the world stage.
Reviews of candidate materials will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled. For best consideration, please apply by December 1, 2018. The University of Southern California has retained Isaacson, Miller and Heidrick & Struggles to assist with this search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letter should be submitted online: www.imsearch.com/6770.
The University of Southern California is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing education and employment opportunities to outstanding, qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience. The university strives to maintain a welcoming community in which all its members may live, work and learn in peace and dignity, be proud of who they are, and have equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals and members of society. To this end, the university places great emphasis on those values and virtues that bind us together as human beings and members of the Trojan Family. The university enthusiastically supports the principles of affirmative action and equal opportunity in their entirety, and expects that every person associated with the university will give continuing support to their implementation.
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