I write to share the news that Christina Yu Yu, director of the USC Pacific Asia Museum, has accepted a position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she has been appointed as the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia. She will remain in her present position until May 1, 2018.
This has been a time of great uncertainty for members of our community regarding the proposed rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At least for now, because of court orders, DACA continues as it has, and today is no longer considered the expiration date for this vital program.
The tragic high school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida has left us, once again, grieving for lives cut short and, understandably, concerned about our own community. We also are emboldened by the voices of the students there and we know that we, too, must take robust steps to prevent similar terrible acts in the future.
I am pleased to introduce the USC Office of Research Strategic Plan 2018, the result of invaluable contributions from leaders across the USC community. Randolph Hall, Vice President of Research, and Silvia da Costa, Director of Faculty Research Relations, led the effort that included Leana Golubchik and Ricky Bluthenthal, who guided the Academic Senate/Provost University Research Committee in 2017 and 2018.
I am pleased to announce that President C. L. Max Nikias has appointed Paula Cannon, C.-C. Jay Kuo, and Elyn Saks as Distinguished Professors and Viet Thanh Nguyen and Jacob Soll as University Professors. These exceptional faculty members have brought immense honor to the university. Please join me in congratulating them on their appointments.
USC is committed to working on the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles County. Last year, over 350 USC volunteers helped with the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count to determine the number of homeless people in our local communities. We hope we can match or surpass that number this year.
Wellness and the promotion of mental, physical, and emotional health are longstanding priorities of the faculty, staff, and student communities at USC.
I am writing to let you know about an academic and experiential opportunity for undergraduates who will enter their third year of studies in Fall 2018. Offered by the Office of the Provost through the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the Marshall School, the USC Warren Bennis Scholars Program hones the skills of student leaders so they can create great impact over their careers.
The Norman Topping Student Aid Fund is a source of great pride for our university. Launched in Fall 1970, the program was among the first student-supported scholarships in the country. It has helped scores of underrepresented, low-income and first-generation students attend and thrive at USC.
We have been closely monitoring the situation this morning regarding the wildfires in Los Angeles County and other parts of southern California. Like all Angelenos, we recognize and understand the considerable anxiety caused by these unpredictable and quickly-developing events. Some members of our USC community have already been affected by this disaster, and our thoughts are with them and their families.