August 2, 2017
To the USC Community:
As a large community of more than 60,000 faculty, staff, and students, located not just on two major campuses in Los Angeles but also across Southern California and around the globe, USC will never be immune to crises. We work diligently to put practices into place that anticipate and mitigate crises, but when they occur, it is vital that we assess what we could have done better and make changes that will improve our procedures going forward.
In the wake of revelations regarding the former dean of the Keck School of Medicine, President Nikias called for the creation of a task force to examine our policies, procedures, and practices so that we understand what we could have done better and make improvements to do just that.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of this task force. It will be co-chaired by Professor Paul Rosenbloom, the President of the Faculty, and Jeffrey de Caen, the President of the Staff Assembly. These two esteemed leaders are known for their integrity, thoroughness, and most of all, for their commitment to open dialogue. The task force has representation by faculty and staff from UPC and HSC, and includes those with special expertise in privacy and employment law, human resources, faculty governance, organizational behavior, and mental health. The complete roster is appended to this memorandum. The task force will begin its work immediately, and will report its recommendations to the two of us, to the president, and, to the entire university community.
We will provide the information necessary for the task force to make the most robust recommendations possible. As we continue to determine what happened, and as the external review team from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher helps us to understand the facts as best as they can be determined, we will update the task force.
The task force will begin its work with the following questions:
1. What additional training should be done for faculty and staff on understanding, identifying, and handling the mental health challenges that may occur from time to time across our community?
2. What are our opportunities for improving campus wellness, especially in the health professions?
3. How do we balance individual and privacy rights with the goal of protecting our faculty, students, employees, patients, and the university; and, to which groups of employees should these more intrusive evaluations apply?
4. How do we separate allegations of criminal behavior, which should be reported to the police; problems with addiction that call for compassion while the individual seeks treatment; and improprieties that call for discipline or dismissal?
5. How do we keep within the scope of our proper concern to protect patients, students, and co-workers, as well as the university itself?
6. How do we improve our flow of information across separate parts of our complex organization?
7. How do we make sure that incoming reports of improper actions, even if anonymous or questionable, get passed on to higher officials and to the Compliance Office?
8. How do we get a fuller account of the record of those hired for sensitive positions, and better assess them appropriately on an ongoing basis?
We are committed to understanding fully what happened, implementing improved policies and procedures, making the necessary changes that will lessen the likelihood of crises in the future, and ensuring we are doing all that we can to foster a safe and healthy community. As a university, we are always striving to learn how we can improve our practices to be a leader among our peers in higher education. We will keep you informed as the task force proceeds with its work.
Michael W. Quick
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey
Senior Vice President for Administration
cc: C. L. Max Nikias
Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness Roster
Paul Rosenbloom (co-chair), Professor of Computer Science, USC Viterbi School of Engineering; President, Academic Senate
Jeffrey de Caen (co-chair), Associate Dean for Operations, USC Thornton School of Music; President, Staff Assembly
Steven Adcook, Director, Human Resources, USC Marshall School of Business
Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization and Harold Quinton Chair in Business Policy, USC Marshall School of Business
Yaniv Bar-Cohen, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Academic Vice President, Academic Senate
John Brodhead, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine; George N. and Mary Lou Boone Professorship in Medical Excellence, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Associate Chief Medical Officer for Medical Services at Keck Hospitals of USC
Steven Bucher, Associate Professor of Technical Communication Practice, USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Chair, Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Academic Senate
Paula Cannon, Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Immediate Past President, Academic Senate
Lil Delcampo, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel
Edward Finegan, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Law, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and USC Gould School of Law
John Gaspari, Executive Director, Center for Work & Family Life
Charles Gomer, Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Vice Chair, Faculty Development (Pediatrics CHLA); Past President, Academic Senate
Rima Jubran, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC; President, Keck School of Medicine of USC Faculty Council
Laura LaCorte, Associate Senior Vice President, Compliance, Office of Compliance
Adam Leventhal, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Director, USC Health, Emotion & Addiction Laboratory
Steven Lopez, Professor of Psychology and Social Work, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
Janis McEldowney, Associate Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Chantelle Rice Collins, Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy, USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy; Director of the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice
Atia Sattar, Lecturer, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Medical Humanities Program Director, USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics
Varun Soni, Vice Provost for Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention; Dean of Religious Life
Mary Trujillo, Program Manager, USC Graduate Programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Member, Staff Assembly
Victoria Young, Computer Services Consultant, Educational Affairs, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Member, Staff Assembly
Matt Curran (ex officio), Director, Trademarks and Contract Compliance, USC Trademarks and Licensing
Marty Levine (ex officio), UPS Foundation Chair of Law and Gerontology, USC Gould School of Law, USC Davis School of Gerontology; Vice Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost