Message to the USC Community
From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
February 11, 2019
USC has a long and rich history, but that history is also complex. As we grow as a university community, and as we grow as a nation, we are having important conversations about the names of certain buildings, monuments, and symbols. Many of these from our past may evoke views and practices that we no longer support, and may cause pain for members of our community. As we strive to be a national leader in equity and inclusion, we must ensure that we uphold our own values and create a safe, welcoming, and supportive campus.
Representatives from both the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Governments have passed resolutions asking for open discussions on reexamining building names and acknowledging certain aspects of USC’s history. Faculty members have raised similar inquiries about the method for such a reexamination.
Therefore, I am assembling the Provost Task Force on University Nomenclature to help us establish principles and procedures on reassessing names across campus.
Specifically, the charge of the Task Force is twofold: (1) articulate a set of principles that can be used to guide USC in decisions about whether to remove a historical name from a building or other prominent structure or space on campus and (2) outline a process by which students, faculty, or staff may submit items for consideration. The principles should be broad enough to be applied to a variety of circumstances rather than tailored to a particular issue or controversy, and the Task Force should not deal with any particular issue or controversy. The Task Force should weigh all relevant considerations and develop criteria for making such decisions.
Members of the Task Force are listed below. I thank all of them for their service to our community by helping us chart a path forward.
Paula Cannon, Past President of the Academic Senate; Distinguished Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology; Associate Director of Cross School Programs for the MESH Academy, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology; Keck School of Medicine
Ainsley Carry, Vice President for Student Affairs, Division of Student Affairs
Alexander Capron, Past President of the Academic Senate; University Professor, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics (Gould School of Law), Professor of Law and Medicine (Keck School of Medicine), and Co-Director, Pacific Center For Health Policy and Ethics, Gould School of Law
Sam Erman, Associate Professor of Law, Gould School of Law
Charles Gomer, Past President of the Academic Senate; Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine; Vice Chair, Faculty Development (Pediatrics CHLA); Chair, FAPTC, Pediatrics/Children’s Hospital
Alison B. Hirsch, Assistant Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture
Suzanne Lacy, Professor of Art, Roski School of Art and Design
Edwin McCann, Past President of the Academic Senate; Professor of Philosophy and English, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
David Sloane, Professor of Public Policy, Sol Price School of Public Policy
Doris Sung, Associate Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture
Francille Wilson, Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Michael Gorse, Student Programs Advisor, Division of Student Affairs
Eric Kidder, Articulation Officer, Academic Records and Registrar
Quinn Anex-Ries, PhD student in American Studies
Milton Dimas, Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Political Science
Shaghayegh Ebadi, Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Political Science
Emmett Harsin Drager, PhD student in American Studies
Michaela Murphy, Bachelor of Science student majoring in Public Policy
cc: Wanda Austin