Search for the next dean of Dornsife

A Message to USC Dornsife College Faculty, Staff and Students

September 18, 2015

On behalf of President Nikias, I am announcing an international search for the next dean of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

The search for a new dean comes at a defining moment in our institution’s history. We have tremendous resources and momentum. We have advanced our reputation for academic rigor and interdisciplinary research. We have leveraged the diversity and character of Los Angeles to set paradigms for global engagement. We attract some of the most talented students and faculty in the world. As a result of this ascent, USC has an even greater responsibility to society and future generations. Our next College dean will play a leading role in positioning USC as the leading global research university of this century that serves the public good. The value and leadership reflected by the Dornsife College will serve as a measure of our institutional success in achieving this ambition.

Because of the Dornsife College’s vital importance to the university, I will personally lead the committee, along with co-chair Avishai Sadan, dean of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. I have appointed an advisory search committee that will move quickly to identify and recruit appropriate candidates. Members of the committee represent a wide range of disciplines from across the Dornsife College. The roster is attached to this memo. Please join me in thanking these faculty members for taking on this important task.

I am also very pleased to announce that Dana and David Dornsife have agreed to serve as my special advisors throughout the search process.

Assisting the committee in their work will be Elizabeth Graddy, Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs; Mark Todd, Vice Provost for Academic Operations; and Daniela Bleichmar, Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Initiatives in the Arts and Humanities. Also assisting the committee will be Ilene Nagel from the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associatese advisory search committee moves forward, the same five rules of engagement will guide its work as have been observed in other dean searches: (1) All nominations will come before the advisory search committee without filtering. (2) During the entire process, there will be no votes by any group or constituency. (3) Those who are asked to interview the final candidates will be invited to send their comments regarding the strengths and possible weaknesses of the final candidates to me directly and confidentially. (4) There will be no final vote within the advisory search committee. (5) The final choice of the dean is made by the president.

The Dornsife College is at the core of USC’s success, its disciplines providing foundations of knowledge and innovation upon which all fields build. The search committee and I fully understand the immense importance in finding the right leader. Rest assured that this search has my full attention and that its timely completion is an extremely high priority for me.

The committee and I will be reaching out to the faculty, staff, students and supporters of Dornisfe College during the search process. On behalf of the committee I want to thank all of you in advance for your input.



cc: C. L. Max Nikias

Dana Dornsife

David Dornsife

USC Dornsife Board of Councilors

Academic Senate

President’s Cabinet

Provost’s Cabinet

Academic Deans