Add Student Representation to the USC Presidential Search Committee

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On Tuesday, August 28th, USC Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Caruso revealed the members of the 23-person Presidential Search Advisory Committee which will be searching for the next President of the University of Southern California. While the Search Committee has members of the USC Board of Trustees (including Caruso himself), Academic Deans, Faculty, Interim USC President Wanda Austin, and even the President of the Academic Senate, Yaniv Bar-Cohen, M.D., there is absolutely no student representation on the Presidential Search Committee. Despite communication throughout the summer with Undergraduate and Graduate Student Governments concerning the need for student representation on the Committee, there is not one seat reserved for the most vulnerable and arguably the most important members of our University Community - students.

Considering the reason the University is searching for a new President - a series of reprehensible scandals, assaults, abuses, and cover-ups - it is more important than ever that student voice is heard in the shaping and re-shaping of this University. The lack of any student representation simply adds insult to injury on behalf of the USC Board of Trustees.

If, as stated in the Role and Mission of the University of Southern California, USC's "first priority as faculty and staff is the education of our students," then the USC Board of Trustees and Chairman Caruso must immediately work with the duly-elected representatives of the nearly 45,000-person USC student body in Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Government to ensure that the safety, well-being, and education of students is indeed made a priority in the future of this University. With the current selection of Committee members, the Board of Trustees has made it clear that the voices of wealthy donors and elite members of the University are valued over the voices of their own students - if USC is to achieve the culture change it so badly needs, this is unacceptable. The only way to ensure that student voice is truly heard is with the appointment of student representation to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

 

Tell Chairman Caruso and the USC Board of Trustees that the only legitimate search for a new President of USC is one with student representation.