Message to USC Faculty and Staff
From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
May 4, 2018
In 2013, entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young conferred a visionary gift to establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, which enrolled its inaugural class of students in fall 2014. The Academy was conceived as a collaborative program bringing together students, instructors, and professional mentors to teach critical thinking and nurture unbridled creativity at the intersection of three essential areas: art and design; engineering and computer science; and business and venture management. The Academy has operated under the leadership of Erica Muhl, who served as the program’s founding executive director in addition to her role as dean of the Roski School of Art and Design.
As the Iovine and Young Academy prepares to graduate its inaugural cohort at this year’s commencement ceremony and to move into its permanent home next year—Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Hall, I am pleased to announce that the program will become an independent academic unit. Effective July 1, 2018, the Iovine and Young Academy will become USC’s 20th degree-granting school, under the leadership of Erica Muhl as the school’s inaugural dean.
With its focus on creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, the Iovine and Young Academy has attracted broad support from the industry and widespread media acclaim. Students have received national academic awards and won top competitive internships and prizes from leading U.S. companies, including Microsoft, Facebook, and Intel. The percentage of women in the Academy is almost three times the national average for technology-related programs. Recently, students launched the Academy’s first start-up supported by extensive external investment—a project that has been heralded by technology and business writers for its significant early-stage successes.
In the few years since its founding, the Iovine and Young Academy has become a key component of USC’s strategic efforts to accelerate invention and innovation, and its achievements have been remarkable. I look forward to seeing our newest school as it strives to fulfill its ambitious mission and take its unique place within our academic environment.
Cc: C. L. Max Nikias