Security and Sustainability are fundamental issues for the well-being of individuals and of the society at large. Because they involve the human element in many ways, they constitute complex systems, hence in addition to the technical part, one needs to add behavioral, organizational, economic, finance, and policy-political issues. And they constitute wicked problems, in that they have no stopping rule (there is always a better solution), their solutions are not true or false, but only good or bad, while there is no innumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions and permissible operations (Rouse, 2016). In addition, these issues need to be addressed on multiple levels:
Security and Sustainability are themes widely adopted in many campuses. Our challenge at USC will be to invent new, truly innovative concepts, driven by our considerable USC strengths, and to closely connect them to the rapidly unfolding technological, economic and societal landscape of our times, including the incoming convergence of disciplines. In addition to providing focus, such a positioning makes our task timely, interesting and exciting, and uniquely different.
The Provost’s Committee on Enhancing Security and Sustainability is charged with the task to create a blueprint for USC to “confront the associated issues head-on.” It is charged to work closely with faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders in order to define the scope of the issue, create a plan for implementation, suggest where to direct university resources to support faculty recruitment and help seed research efforts, create novel undergraduate and graduate academic programs, provide robust community outreach and stakeholder partnerships, and recommend how to measure our impact.
Dean’s Steering Committee on Enhancing Security and Sustainability:
- Yannis C. Yortsos (Lead) Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
- James G. Ellis, Dean of USC Marshall School Business
- William G. Holder, Dean of the USC Leventhal School of Accounting
- Jack H. Knott, Dean of the USC Price School of Public Policy
- Amber Miller, Dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
The Deans committee has in turn identified a faculty subcommittee with the expertise and interest to work on this issue. The composition of the faculty subcommittee is the following: Paul Adler, Jan Amend, Jonathan Aronson, Teri Benzel, Amy Childress, Perren Cobb, Bill Deverell, Rob English, John Heidelberg, Jacques Hymans, Pat James, Rebecca Lonergan, Najmedin Meshkati, Cliff Neuman, Michael Orosz, Leslie Porter, Surya Prakash, Viktor Prasanna, Milind Tambe, Mark Thompson, and Detlof Von Winterfeldt. The faculty committee will work closely with the steering committee to engage all USC constituencies toward executing the Provost task.