Changes to USC Governance Structure

Dear USC Community,

We are pleased to announce that today the USC Board of Trustees passed a series of significant and historic changes to its governance structure.

As you know well, USC has grown dramatically over the past few decades. That growth includes a larger student body, more faculty, a fast-growing staff, and operating one of the region’s largest medical enterprises in Keck Medicine of USC. However, the Board of Trustees recognized that it has been organized in much the same way as it was thirty years ago. Just as USC has changed, so too must our Board. And, that is what we have done.

Over the past year, the Special Committee on Governance Reform diligently examined best practices at peer institutions and leading organizations across the globe. The committee engaged faculty, staff, student and alumni leaders to understand their priorities and vision. It also held frequent and thoughtful discussions with the full Board as well as with individual Trustees. All of these efforts were to develop recommendations that best position USC for maximum success in the coming decades. At the end of this extensive process, the committee submitted a series of significant changes to modernize the Board’s structure and operations.

Today, USC Trustees voted to adopt the following:
• Reduce the overall size of the Board to 35 members within the next few years;
• Commit to a future Board composition that reflects the diversity of the USC community;
• Implement term and age limits for all current and future Trustees;
• Reduce the number of Board committees from eleven to eight;
• Restructure the Executive Committee membership to be comprised of the Board Chair, immediate past Board Chair, University President, and Committee Chairs;
• Strengthen requirements for Board membership;
• Establish new criteria and role requirements for future Life and Honorary Trustees; and
• Publish all committee memberships to the USC website for community reference.
The Board embraces these meaningful changes. However, we also recognize that this is just the beginning and our work is never complete. We will constantly and consistently evaluate our structure, processes, and membership to ensure that the Board is fully engaged in best serving our students, patients, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community. We are also committed to USC being a leader in university governance especially as higher education continues to evolve.

Thank you to all the USC stakeholders who lent their time, expertise, and voices to this effort. A special thank you to the members of the Special Committee who worked so diligently and thoroughly these past 14 months. Finally, thank you to all Trustees, especially those who will be transitioning off the Board over the next few years, for always placing USC’s long-term health and success first. We are forever grateful for their invaluable service and commitment to the Trojan Family.

The Board will keep you updated as we implement these changes and work together to support President Folt in her efforts. We also invite your continued input and feedback to botchair@usc.edu.

Sincerely,

Rick J. Caruso
Chair, USC Board of Trustees

Carmen Nava
Chair, Special Committee on Governance Reform

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TrojanMPA90
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Noble Member

These changes are needed given what the university has gone through. The BOT should not be an exclusive club that only the privileged few get to be on. This will help the university to get better and not fall into the problems that have recently plagued the school.

San Diego Trojan
Member
Knighted Member

This letter highlights, in my mind, that the true influencer, and powerful voice in Folt’s tenure, is and will always be Caruso. What started as a new , progressive , politically correct direction caused by the overreaction to the recent scandals, is now turning into a movement that began with the temporary installment of Wanda Austin ,to discredit all previous things USC, and throw everybody and anything that had to do with the success of previous generations of alumni and administration, under the bus, as if it was all bad. I’m afraid that this means that they will never let… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
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ATL D.D.S.
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I am not as worried about Caruso hiring Meyer. (Just a gut feeling.) We were fraternity brothers together during the tail end of the peak glory days for USC (late 1970’s) I hope he remembers what role the football program plays in our culture.

Allen Wallace
Member
Mt Rushmore

If you can say DDS, what was Caruso like back then as a USC student? Would you have ever thought he would become a massive power broker billionaire?

San Diego Trojan
Member
Knighted Member

Exactly, ATL, it would be so naive for anyone to think that prestigious academic standing and successful athletics are mutually exclusive. Everyone wants to be associated with winners. I don’t think it’s superficial to think that attracting top researchers, professors, and increased student applications, aren’t partially attributed to the National attention brought by the success of the sports programs. Caruso has done many good things, I’m just afraid of the opportunities that may be missed because of over-correcting for the transgressions of a few bad apples. To me, Meyer is the only can’t miss of all available candidates. It seems… Read more »

Allen Wallace
Member
Mt Rushmore

I think your use of the term “over-correcting” is well-placed SDT. So are “can’t-miss” and “lucky.” USC, under Caruso and Folt, is in terrific danger of over-correcting, blowing a can’t-miss HFC and hoping to get lucky with lesser coaching possibilities.

The path to instantly correcting the Trojan football program is so incredibly clear, one has to assume that the other options reflect a conscious turning away from USC’s historic expectations of at least occasional football greatness.

Whether Folt and Caruso even appreciate and desire to promote those expectations is the hugest question about the USC of 2019 in my mind.

San Diego Trojan
Member
Knighted Member

I think we will find out real soon, Alan, what their thought process is. Negative stories about Bohn possibly backing out because he can’t hire who he wants, was all over the place yesterday. We can’t seem to get any feel good vibes these days. One step forward, two back. If Bohn backs out,, and I wouldn’t blame him, it will just add to the dysfunction. Alan, tell me if you remember the rumor floating before Helton was re-signed, that John Harbaugh of the Ravens was secretly interested in the job, but had intimated that if it was made public,… Read more »

Allen Wallace
Member
Mt Rushmore

SDT — I remember the John Harbaugh rumors, but I never seriously thought he would leave the NFL for USC. I’ve never actually spoken with anyone who was able to verify any sincere interest on his part in the job. Obviously, at least to me, he would never take the USC job now, or even consider it. He’s sitting pretty, secure and very solid with Lamar Jackson, (who just beat Belichick) the future of NFL quarterbacking, and USC has been embroiled in discord, scandal, and poor AD and presidential leadership for a long time now. That’s why Urban Meyer would… Read more »

Rock2112
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Rock2112
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I honestly believe Jim Harbaugh has potential mental health issues. There have been whispers about that for some time. Hell, he forbid his players from eating chicken because he said it is a “nervous bird.” How is Harbaugh doing against his big rival? Not well. Is he immune to the head-scratching blowout loss to an inferior team (Wisconsin)? Nope. Is his program consistently excellent? Nope. I think people get obsessed with names — but it is only results that matter. I’m not into the hire of Urban Meyer because of his name. It’s because of what he’s done. And, by… Read more »

Wilson_Reade
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BASKETBALL!