Joint Provost/Academic Senate Task Force on Sexual Harassment

Message to the USC Community

From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Yaniv Bar-Cohen, President of the Faculty

July 16, 2018

An extensive report this year from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine illustrates the far-reaching impact of sexual harassment of women working in these fields of academia across the nation.  The report offers a number of key recommendations on how institutions of higher education can effect organizational changes to reduce and prevent cases of harassment.  It is critical that we as a university cultivate an environment in which sexual harassment of women is not allowed to persist, where women are encouraged to report their experiences, and cases are handled appropriately.

To this end, we are forming a task force comprised of faculty, staff, and students charged with reviewing the National Academies report and drawing on their own experiences to develop recommendations that:

  • Expand upon the work of both the Task Force for Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness and the Diversity and Inclusion Council, particularly with regards to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment
  • Consider the unique power dynamics inherent in relationships between faculty and PhD students in which funding and advising are concentrated
  • Provide community input on policy mechanisms for addressing sexual harassment
  • Improve transparency and communication on sexual harassment policies, procedures, and outcomes

While the National Academies report focuses on STEM, the Task Force on Sexual Harassment’s concentration will encompass the entire university.  The Task Force will develop proposals with special emphasis on these three areas:

  • Faculty mentoring and supervisor issues
  • Communication and transparency
  • Gender harassment

Attached is the list of the task force members.  We thank them for their service on this important task force and look forward to working with them to promote a respectful culture at USC in which sexual harassment of women is not tolerated.


Joint Provost/Academic Senate Task Force on Sexual Harassment

Co-chair: Shafiqa Ahmadi, Associate Professor of Clinical Education, Rossier School of Education

Co-chair: Devon Brooks, Associate Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Change and Innovation, Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Co-chair: Ruth Wood, Professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences, Chair of the Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences; Associate Dean for Appointments and Promotions, Keck School of Medicine

Blake Ackerman, Undergraduate Student Government Vice President; Business Administration, Marshall School of Business

Andrea Armani, Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics, and Chemistry; Director of the Keck Photonics Laboratory and John O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory, Viterbi School of Engineering

Jeff Cain, Assistant Professor of Teaching, Design, Roski School of Art and Design

Kris Coombs, Jr, Graduate Student Government Vice President of Programming; Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and International Relations/Juris Doctor (JD/PhD) candidate, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Gould School of Law

Kimberly Freeman, Associate Dean; Chief Diversity Officer, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Louis Goldstein,  Professor of Linguistics, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Leana Golubchik, Stephen and Etta Varra Professor and Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering-Systems; Director of Women in Science and Engineering Program (WiSE), Viterbi School of Engineering

Rima Jubran, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Educational Scholar), Keck School of Medicine

Debbie Lee, Undergraduate Student Government President; Political Science, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Rebecca Lonergan, Professor of Lawyering Skills, and Associate Director of Legal Writing and Advocacy Program, Gould School of Law

Chi H. Mak, Professor of Chemistry and Biological Sciences, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Gary Painter, Professor of Public Policy; Director of Social Policy in the Price Center for Social Innovation, Price School of Public Policy

Parveen Parmar, Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine; Chief, International Emergency Medicine, Keck School of Medicine

Monica Parra, Graduate Student Government Director of Campus Affairs; JD candidate, Gould School of Law

Jeanne Weiss, Staff Assembly representative; Student Services Advisor, Gender Studies Program, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences