STATEMENT: Interim President Wanda M. Austin response to arrest of former USC doctor

“We have cooperated with the LAPD and District Attorney’s Office investigations since the beginning and will continue to do so. We care deeply about our community and our top priority continues to be the wellbeing of our students, health center patients and university community. We hope this arrest will be a healing step for former patients and our entire university.”

“Solutions don’t come unless you face the problems” Yaniv Bar-Cohen advocates for honest conversations

Yaniv Bar-Cohen, faculty of Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Yaniv Bar-Cohen calls it like he sees it, not how he wants to see it. It’s a personality trait that has served him well in his work as a pediatric heart rhythm specialist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where most days include high-stakes patient diagnoses and treatment decisions made under extreme pressure. It’s also served him well in his past year as USC Academic Senate president as he dealt with the fallout from the discovery of misconduct and mismanagement at the university.

Renee Almassizadeh: “We have the opportunity to determine what we want the values of this university to be in the 21st century”

Renee Almassizadeh

If the past two years have convinced Renee Almassizadeh of anything, it is that there is a need for a shift in USC’s culture. She hears often from staff members that they feel under-appreciated by the university. Their reasons vary, she acknowledged, but it’s also a perception that she hopes is starting to shift, thanks to university-wide efforts to spark culture change efforts.

New Leadership Join USC in Human Resources, Communications Roles

Felicia Washington and Glenn Osaki
Felicia Washington (l.) and Glenn Osaki (r.) announced as part of new USC administration leadership.

As part of broader efforts to strengthen USC’s organizational culture, experienced attorney and university administrator Felicia Washington will join USC as senior vice president of human resources. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the long-term strategic management and support of the university’s nearly 28,000 faculty and staff members and student workers. USC has also named strategic communications professional Glenn Osaki as the university’s new senior vice president and chief communications officer. Osaki has more than 30 years of experience in strategic communications, most recently serving as president of Asia-Pacific for MSL, an international public relations firm.

Felipe Osorno: “Communication is key” to culture change

Felipe Osorno Calderon
Executive Administrator Felipe Osorno Calderon is a member of the Working Group of the President's Culture Commission. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Felipe Osorno knows that culture change initiatives can work. “When we communicate often about the things that matter, people pay attention. But when there are gaps in information, people fill in those gaps and make assumptions about what matters and what doesn’t,” Osorno said. He encourages staff who haven’t gotten involved in the university’s culture change efforts to speak up, to volunteer to help, and more importantly, to live their personal values.

Undergraduate student leader Debbie Lee reflects on change progress at USC

USG president Debbie Lee
Undergraduate Student Government president Debbie Lee. (USC Photo / Gus Ruelas)

USG president Debbie Lee, a member of the President’s Culture Commission, hopes that the work being done will reap real change and bring healing to campus, even if it comes after she’s graduated and moved on. “I think society tells us that we need instant results and instant impact. And there should be a sense of urgency around fixing things and doing the right things. But long-term healing [and changing culture] takes patience and continuous work,” says Lee. “It doesn’t get fixed by one certain action or one certain statement or one action plan. It’s a series of things, building upon days and days of work.”

Provost and Legal Affairs leadership retire

Michael Quick, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Carol Mauch Amir, senior vice president for legal affairs and professionalism, have formally signaled their intent to retire from their positions, effective June 30, 2019.